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Will Walmart’s Black Friday Strategy Spark Record Sales?

Black Friday, Shopping

This holiday season Walmart is going to make its presence impossible for shoppers to ignore as part of a new, huge Black Friday sales strategy, and the first big part of the retail giant’s plan has already begun. Throughout this holiday season, the company has upped its media presence by a whopping 50 percent. But advertising is only one part of Walmart’s multi-faceted holiday strategy – let’s dive into more details about Walmart’s Black Friday 2013 plans and the rest of its holiday goals.

A tough act to follow

Last year, Walmart opened its doors on Thanksgiving Day to offer deals even before Black Friday had officially begun. The store discounted almost 700 different items for its Black Friday sale. More than 10 million transactions were conducted between 8pm Thanksgiving Day and 12am on Black Friday.

Some of the biggest deals at Walmart last year included major discounts on Wrangler jeans, Sony PS3 consoles, DVDs, HDTVs and much more. The chain plans to offer more deals on electronics as part of this year’s Black Friday sales strategy. The Associated Press reports that Walmart will offer a JVC LED television for $299 and XELIO tablet for $49 – more than half off the sticker price.

Their aggressive Black Friday sales strategy paid off well last year. The chain enjoyed its biggest Black Friday ever, likely due in no small part to opening up so early. It’s worth noting that sales numbers at retail stores across the country were up between 6pm and midnight during the shopping holiday last year.

Early shopping

Walmart is offering many holiday deals early as part of their plan to get greater numbers of shoppers into more stores. The Apple iPad Air is already on sale for $499, and deep discounts in nearly every department have been rolled out in stores and online as part of an early push to score holiday shopping traffic. The company is certainly angling to make this their biggest Black Friday ever.

Last year, shoppers spent $1.1 billion on holiday shopping during Thanksgiving Day, and only slightly more on Black Friday, ringing up $1.6 billion in purchases. Some researchers believe that Thanksgiving Day sales will eventually overtake the shopping that occurs on Black Friday. Walmart isn’t the only store that’s using early shopping to get in on those Thanksgiving profits. Macy’s will open midnight on Black Friday, while Target and Kmart are opening their doors during the Thanksgiving holiday.

Sales, sales everywhere

Walmart plans to offer Black Friday deals and special sales across platforms this holiday season to make shopping even easier. As part of their Black Friday sales strategy, the company is extending their deals to include online products as well. Shoppers who don’t leave their homes can still enjoy deep discounts and the thrill of scoring low prices on popular gift items.

In addition to aggressive in-store sales, Walmart’s online store will be chock-full of exclusive Internet-only deals. Free shopping will be offered on all purchases over $50. Walmart will also allow customers to have items shipped directly to their nearest brick-and-mortar store location, instead of their own homes, to pick up their purchases. Special pick-up pricing will be used to encourage shoppers to visit smaller Walmart stores, not just their Supercenter locations. All the new online offerings make Walmart more competitive with Amazon, which also enjoys huge sales on Black Friday as well as Cyber Monday.

Black Friday is no longer just one day

With Walmart offering early deals in November and extending online deals past the Black Friday shopping holiday, discounts are more plentiful than ever this year. Many companies will work to stay competitive by offering early shopping deals and rolling out strategies such as price-matching and online exclusives. Though the holiday shopping season is less than 30 days this year, it promises to be full of competition that makes sales strategy more important than ever.

Walmart photo courtesy of Flickr.