Wal-Mart Changes Strategy for Black Friday

Lazarus Ziozis, Editor

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During this Black Friday, Wal-Mart will offer deep discounts on gift items such as TVs, DVDs, and pajamas starting 6 pm on Thanksgiving at its stores until they are gone. Wal-Mart plans to offer longer term, discounts through the holiday season. This is a change in their strategy from last year, where Wal-Mart stretched the Black Friday event over five days. Last year, consumers were confused on when to shop because of the deep discounts on “door-buster” products that were promoted for multiple days.  Wal-Mart is basically trying to simplify its Black Friday strategy. They will offer most Black Friday deals online first, starting early on Thanksgiving.

Based on research from AlixPartners LLP, a consulting firm, has found that Black Friday sales have been dropping and the National Retail Federation has found I that 40% of shoppers start buying gifts before Halloween. Retailers, such as Wal-Mart, Target Corp, and Amazon.com, started offering discounts in early November on products that are popular gifts. Another factor is that they must have more inventory to provide customers with these products throughout to cover the sale period. Wal-Mart’s United Kingdom stores Asda decided to end its two year strategy to have deep discounts on Black Friday, and instead offer lower prices over the whole season.