With its earliest start ever, Wal-Mart will open its doors for the Black Friday sales at 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving. Wal-Mart earns a huge chunk of its annual sales in the holiday season; up to a quarter of the total annual sales – Black Friday holds great importance for the Wal-Mart US Division.
Wal-Mart has stocked heavily on items and merchandise that the customers demand and prefer to buy during the holiday sales. "We bought deep, very deep, and we bought deep on items that matter to our customers," said Wal-Mart US Chief Merchandising and Marketing Officer Duncan Mac Naughton.
This year, the growth in the holiday spending by the shoppers of the country are expected to be a lower percentage than that in the year 2011; from a growth of 5.6 percent last year, there is fall to only a 4.1 percent rise in 2012. To find their way around this figure, retailers are finding fresh and innovative ways to entice their customers. Catalogs have been printed by retailers and policies of paying in installments are also being introduced.
Typically, Black Friday falls on the day after Thanksgiving; in more recent years, the Christmas presents shopping trend has started to fall earlier on the shopkeepers, hence, Black Friday has been moved up by Wal-Mart and is to kick off on the night of Thanksgiving itself.
Wal-Mart has prepared ads and catalogs to communicate their sale offers to their customers and with the online leakage of its 45 page long ad, the shoppers now know what they want on Black Friday this year.
Other competitors in the running for major Black Friday sales are yet to announce their opening timings. It will hardly be a surprise if other retailers follow suit and open up before midnight as is Wal-Mart. While the early opening does not take away from a relaxed dinner for families observing Thanksgiving, it does threaten a loss in viewership of the post-dinner football game. Instead of watching the evening match together as a family, people will be lining up for the Wal-Mart gates to open.
While the early opening of Wal-Mart allows people to come early and get done with the shopping early, and eventually going to bed at a reasonable hour, the working hours will now be longer for the Wal-Mart employees. They will be required to be present at the stores earlier than the usual, hence taking away from their Thanksgiving traditions and time spent with their families.