Walmart Fires First Round in Holiday Selling Stakes

By Alan Wolf, YSN

In their push to be first out of the holiday starting gate, retailers have pushed Black Friday up from the day after Thanksgiving, to Thanksgiving Week, to Black November.

Now, even the day after Halloween, which had become the unofficial starting point for the holidays, has crumbled. Walmart, in an effort to make up for the six fewer shopping days between Thanksgiving and Christmas, launched the first round of its holiday sales barrage on Oct. 25. The No. 1 discount chain described its “Early Deals Drop” as its earliest holiday promotion ever, with sales on toys, home goods and electronics including a 55-inch Vizio 4K Ultra HDR Smart TV for $398, a savings of $100.

“Customers count on Walmart for the best prices every day, and the holiday season is no exception,” said Steve Bratspies, Executive Vice President and Chief Merchandising Officer for Walmart U.S. “Our price leadership is strong and growing, and we’re excited to deliver savings for all of our holiday shoppers.”

Walmart is also upping its e-commerce game by offering free next-day delivery on hundreds of thousands of items, a first for the company this season. Unlike Amazon and Target, which charge membership dues ($119 a year for Amazon Prime) or flat fees ($9.99 per order at Target.com), Walmart’s next-day service carries no extra charge. Walmart said coverage spans about 75 percent of the U.S. population.

Best Buy has similarly announced that it will provide free next-day delivery on thousands of items across 42 U.S. metro markets, representing 99 percent of the population. The service excludes large items like major appliances and big-screen TVs.

YSN is published by BrandSource parent company AVB Inc.