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Walmart plans three Black Fridays to help cope with COVID-19

Most of the deals will be offered online

Photo (c) momius - Fotolia
How exactly do retailers plan to maintain social distancing on Black Friday when stores are traditionally crammed with shoppers? Walmart’s answer is to have three Black Fridays.

The retailer has announced that “Black Friday Deals for Days” will be made up of three sales events, with the first beginning online on Nov. 4. That sales event will feature deals on toys, electronic, and home products, and it will move to Walmart stores on Nov. 7.

Walmart will launch its second event on Nov. 11, again starting online. The sale will feature TV sets, computers, tablets, and entertainment media. The event will move to stores on Nov. 14. The final event will begin online on Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 25. In-store sales will follow on Nov. 26, the traditional Black Friday.

And new this year, customers will have the option to pick up their online Black Friday order through the retailer’s contact-free curbside pickup service.

“Although this year’s event looks different, our commitment to what our customers depend on us for – the absolute best prices of the season on hot gifts from top brands – hasn’t changed,” said Scott McCall, executive vice president and chief merchandising officer for Walmart U.S.

Unique sales and deals

Walmart says shoppers will find deals on brands like HP, Instant Pot, LEGO, L.O.L. Surprise!, Roku and Shark, including some it says will be exclusive to Walmart. The retailer also promises to have plenty of the sale items in stock.

During the first event, Walmart says it’s deals will include a  42-inch UHD Roku TV for $88 and popular Hotel Style bath towels for $5.

The second event will feature marked down prices of Apple and Samsung mobile phones, and the final event will include sales on all categories of gifts, including toys and apparel. 

Getting a head start

Walmart is not only dividing up its holiday sales promotions, it’s also getting a head start on Black Friday -- a trend other retailers have adopted. A survey conducted in September for RetailMeNot found that many consumers plan to shop early this year because of the pandemic.

Most of the people in the survey said they will probably do most of their shopping online this year, continuing a trend that began with the initial coronavirus (COVID-19) lockdown. The most common reason given for shopping early was to avoid delivery delays and retailers being out of stock.

In fact, an overwhelming number of respondents -- 88 percent -- said they may complete all of their purchases online and will not shop for traditional door-buster deals on Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday.

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