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Retail Industry Updates

Walmart Takes Black Friday and Runs with It


Walmart is reinventing Black Friday this year to reduce customer traffic in its stores — all in the name of safety and convenience — in the strangest shopping season in the history of shopping seasons caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Bentonville, Ark.-based retailer is spreading out its Black Friday savings from one single day to three events during November and calling the undertaking “Black Friday Deals for Days.” Walmart said the reinvented Black Friday experience will offer customers its best prices of the season on the most sought-after items on 2020 holiday wish lists. Each savings event will begin online at Walmart.com and continue in Walmart stores. Customers will have the option to pick up their online Black Friday order through Walmart’s contact-free curbside pickup service.

“Customers trust Walmart to deliver an amazing Black Friday year after year. Although this year’s event looks different, our commitment to what our customers depend on us for — the absolute best prices of the season on hot gifts from top brands — hasn’t changed,” said Scott McCall, Walmart’s executive vice president and chief merchandising officer. “I’m really excited that this year, when it matters most to our customers, we’re offering them more convenient and safer ways to shop Black Friday at Walmart, whether that’s from the shelf in one of our stores, ordering online and picking it up curbside or having it delivered right to their front door.”

The first event in “Black Friday Deals for Days” begins online Nov. 4 with new deals in stores on Nov. 7. Featured items include toys, electronics and home products.

The second event begins online Nov. 11 with new deals in stores Nov. 14. Featured items include electronics like TVs, computers and tablets. Walmart will also host its biggest wireless phone event ever in-stores and online on Sat., Nov. 14.

The third event begins online online Nov. 25 with new deals in stores Nov. 27, the date of the actual Black Friday. Walmart said it will offer great prices on even more electronics, toys and gifts across apparel and home, as well as seasonal décor favorites.

“We’ve been very thoughtful as we planned this year’s event,” McCall said. “By spreading deals out across multiple days and making our hottest deals available online, we expect the Black Friday experience in our stores will be safer and more manageable for both our customers and our associates.”

Walmart said the health and safety of its customers and associates is its top priority. All Walmart stores will open at 5 a.m. local time on Black Friday in-store event days. Customers will form a single, straight line to enter the store. Associates will hand out sanitized shopping carts to customers to help with social distancing, and “health ambassadors” will be placed at entrances to greet customers and remind them to put on a mask.

During these in-store Black Friday events, Walmart said it will meter customers into the store to help reduce congestion and promote social distancing inside stores. Customers will be directed to shop down the right-hand side of aisles to be able to easily and safely select the Black Friday items they’re interested in purchasing.