Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (WMT), the world's largest retailer, will feature three waves of deals around Black Friday this year and will guarantee that customers will be able to get certain items.
In-store specials will start to be offered at 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving, which falls on Nov. 22 this year, followed by an electronics event at 10 p.m. and a 5 a.m. start for its weekend deals, the Bentonville, Arkansas-based company said today in a statement.
Wal-Mart is starting its Black Friday sales two hours earlier than last year as it seeks to lure customers during the most important period of the year for retailers. Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, was named so because it was traditionally when retailers would become profitable.
The electronics deals will include an Apple Inc. (AAPL) iPad2 with Wi-Fi for $399 plus a $75 gift card, a 32-inch Emerson LCD television for $148 and an LG Electronics Inc. (066570) Blu-ray player for $38, Wal-Mart said. Customers who are in the store and in the queue line between 10 p.m. and 11 p.m. on Thanksgiving will be guaranteed to get the items. If the products sell out before 11 p.m., the customers will receive a guarantee card for the item that must be paid for by midnight and registered online.
"We ensure customers get the products they want for Christmas," Duncan Mac Naughton, chief merchandising and marketing officer of Wal-Mart U.S., said yesterday on a conference call. At other stores, they might stand outside in line only to find the items have "run out immediately."
Wal-Mart fell 0.9 percent to $73.11 yesterday in New York. The shares have gained 22 percent this year.