Wal-Mart Stores Inc.said Thursday (Nov. 8) it will kick off Black Friday at 8 p.m. local time on Thanksgiving Day. This is two hours earlier than last year, but comes as no surprise from analysts who say retailers will go to extreme lengths to woo shoppers this year.
Consumers have been a fickle bunch this year, but the National Retail Federation estimates holiday spending to rise 4.1%, down from 5.6% growth seen in 2011.
Wal-Mart has promised to deliver big this holiday, chief marketing officer Duncan MacNaughton recently said, “We have bought deep, very deep on items that matter to our customers”
That inventory is heavy in electronics as Wal-Mart is betting Ipads, tablet and mobile phone sales will be among the hottest items on consumer lists this year.
Wal-Mart is not just focusing on in-store deals, but also hopes to draw in more traffic from several mobile applications like an interactive store map that will allow users to click on items to see the prices and location of products within the store.
Wal-Mart says 12% of the sales from its mobile app come from customers making purchases online while they are inside the physical store.