Walmart Changes Black Friday Strategy: Drops Doorbusters, Bulking Up On Inventory

When Walmart stores across the country open their doors at 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving day there will be a Black Friday staple missing: hourly doorbuster deals. 

The retailer announced Thursday that it would ditch its tradition of rolling out hourly deals on products in an attempt to make the hectic holiday shopping day easier for customers, USA Today reports.

This year, the company says it plans to make all the deals – both in store and online – available at the same time. Online deals will start at 12:01 a.m. PST on Thanksgiving, while in-store deals will be available when the doors open at 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving.

“Our plan is fundamentally, make shopping easier for our customers,” Steve Bratspies, Walmart’s chief merchandising officer, says. “It’s about deals, it’s about availability and it’s about simplicity.”

Bratspies says the new system was put in place, in part, to help avoid confusion for some shoppers. In previous years when the retailer fanned out its deals throughout the evening, customers had to spend time strategizing when to stop by the stores in order to grab their desired item before it sold out.

As to the availability of deals on the big shopping day, Walmart says it’s aiming to bulk up its stock on best-selling items, like electronics and toys, to ensure customers aren’t left high and dry.

Walmart is also bringing back its one-hour guarantee, which promises special deals on five products — an iPad Air 2, Beats headphones, an Xbox One, an HP Touch laptop and a 55-inch LG TV — to anyone lined up in a designated spot in stores between 6 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Thanksgiving, USA Today reports.

While the retailer is working to ensure things go smoothly in stores, it’s also gearing up for a big online sales day.

The company expects 75% of its holiday traffic to come from its mobile app this year. The app allows shoppers to make purchases directly through the Black Friday circular, or if you’re in-store, the app will provide maps to see where deals are located.

“We’re going to make it easier when you get to the store to find what you want and hopefully get through it a little quicker,” Walmart U.S. CEO Greg Foran said.

Walmart opening at 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving, ditching doorbusters [USA Today]

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