Wal-Mart is launching their online holiday deals a month early. Wal-Mart is kicking off their Christmas promotions today in hopes of surviving harsh holiday conditions this year. Black Friday and Cyber Monday are already in the process of launching a month earlier than usual. Many stores are in a race to claim a share of what is forecast to be a lukewarm shopping season.
Wal-Mart launched boatloads of online offers Friday, including 36% savings on a JVC 42-inch LED television and 51% savings on a 10-inch Xelio tablet. Wal-Mart said, the $299 and $49 price tags, were the lowest ever offered for those products. They also have bargains on the Nintendo DSI XL, the Sodastream soda maker and products from Apple, Disney and Vizio.
Wal-Mart said, “to sweeten the deal we are offering the most expansive free-shipping program. Orders over $50, including 99% of items on Walmart.com, are eligible.”
Last year Wal-Mart tripled the number of products that can be ordered online and picked up in stores in the same day. The retailer is trying to entice more customers via digital channels, email, Facebook or the company’s mobile app.
Joel Anderson, chief executive of Walmart.com said, “customer traffic tends to spike the day after Halloween. Customers want to relax with friends and family during the holidays, and with our early deals we are helping them make the most of their time and helping them stretch their dollars further.”
Morgan Stanley is predicting this holiday shopping season to be the worst since 2008. There worried that early discounting could hurt retailer profits. Malls are already entering the season at a disadvantage due to the government shutdown and weak consumer confidence.
J.C. Penney and Macy’s are opening on Thanksgiving this year without bothering to wait for Black Friday. On Thursday, Amazon.com launched its Black Friday deals online running two Deals of the Day until December 22. Holiday shopping amounts for 40% of retailers’ annual revenue for the entire year.