By Andrew Khoury,
Money and Investing Writer
As the holiday season rolls around this week, many stores will begin to roll out unbelievable deals for consumers to purchase gifts for their loved ones in the hopes of boosting revenue for the lucrative holiday season.
Year in and year out, Walmart’s (NYSE: WMT) Black Friday sales attract very large crowds of people looking to cash in on dirt cheap plasma and hi-definition televisions among other popular items. Walmart’s “everyday low prices” gets slashed even lower.
People let materialism consume their thoughts and get into fights in the parking lots of these stores all over the country. Just last year in Tallahassee, Florida, two men were shot over disputes in a Walmart parking lot. Two years ago, a fight ensued over a waffle maker that was being sold for two dollars.
That same year, a woman supposedly pepper sprayed a crowd of people so she could get an Xbox. Evidently, people take their bargain shopping very seriously.
Thus, Walmart is the latest major store to announce that it will roll out its Black Friday deals even earlier this year. Instead of opening at the crack of dawn, Walmart will kick off its holiday season around dinner time on Thanksgiving Day.
Walmart will hold two major sales events on Thanksgiving, one at 6 PM and the other at 8 PM.
Among other major stores following a similar strategy are Target (NYSE: TGT), Best Buy (NYSE: BBY), and Macy’s (NYSE: M).
This is one of the company’s many strategies in attempting to control the chaos that is guaranteed to occur. Walmart will also increase its inventory in all stores, offer almost all of its Black Friday deals online (no one can be shot or pepper sprayed on Cyber Monday), and like last year, door buster deals will be staggered.
Executives of Walmart said on Tuesday that stores have about 65 percent more televisions, twice as many tablets, and nearly 5 times as many bed sheets as opposed to last year.
Additionally, in order to try to lessen the crowds of people at the stores, Walmart is offering an incentive to order these same items for the same prices online: free shipping on 99 percent of all items ordered online.
Walmart will also be handing out wristbands to those who waited on line so that customers can order a product, continue shopping in the store, and pick up that product when they are ready to check out. This is intended to eliminate some of the chaos, impatience, and mobbing around hot item products. And this holiday season is expected to be as chaotic and crazy as ever.
The holiday season is actually shorter this year than most, by about six days, so stores, especially Walmart, will be trying to court the price-conscious consumers.
Also, experts are measuring low rates of consumer confidence following the government shutdown that occurred this year. This makes it even more important for stores like Walmart to offer impressive deals and guarantee more products for customers this year than ever before.
As the world becomes more technologically savvy with each passing day, one thing will most likely never change: people love buying cheap, “hot” products in person.
Black Friday and the amazing, jaw dropping deals that come along with it will probably never disappear and with it comes all the fights, shootouts, and pepper spraying that occur each and every holiday season.
Just remember your gas masks and suit of armor when entering these stores on Black Friday! Happy holidays and have fun shopping folks!
A version of this article appeared in the Tuesday, Nov. 26 print edition.
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