Wal-Mart Ready to Take On the Competition for Black Friday

Wal-Mart Black Friday

Wal-Mart on Thursday that it would color-code sections of its store for different types of products for Black Friday as it gears up for a flood of shoppers on the big start to the holiday shopping season this year.

Store timings aren’t getting any major changes the way Target is doing. The online Black Friday sale at Wal-Mart’s website starts at 12:01 am ET, while in-store shoppers can storm the doors starting at 6 pm on Thanksgiving Thursday. The stores will remain open through the end of Friday.

According to a report from Adobe last year, consumers in the U.S. spent over $91 billion during the holidays. That was an 11 percent increase from 2015, and Adobe is now projecting spending in excess of $100 billion for the holiday season 2017.

During last year’s holiday season, Amazon walked away with the lion’s share of online sales as the company grabbed 36.9% of the volume between November 1,2016 and December 15,2016. Wal-Mart came in fourth, with just 2.7%, and the company will be desperate to climb up the leaderboard this year. With Walmart’s online sales growing at double digit rates for the past several quarters, Walmart does have a pretty good shot at moving to second place in online sales during this holiday season.

“There’s only one place to shop this Black Friday – Wal-Mart,” said Steve Bratspies, chief merchandising officer, Wal-Mart U.S. “Whether a customer shops with us in our stores or online, we know exactly what they will be shopping for, and we will have it. I am proud of our assortment of top items and know we worked to offer them at the absolute best prices and in deeper quantities than the competition. Our associates and stores are more excited than ever and ready to help customers make their Black Friday a success.”

Black Friday marks the start of deep discounts from all the top retailers, but it’s increasingly starting well before the morning after Thanksgiving. Several retailers have already had their Black Friday ads leaked, and others are already starting to discount products ahead of the five days running from Thanksgiving evening through Cyber Monday the following week.

Holiday sales can account for as much as 40 percent of total annual sales for many retailers.

Sources: Walmart Black Friday Press Release , Reuters, CNBC