This holiday season, Walmart is saying no to the limited-time doorbuster deals that consumers are used to and taking a new approach. The Bentonville, Arkansas-based retailer said it significantly increased its holiday inventory for toys, electronics and other products.
And instead of limiting deals to five days (their strategy in 2014), Walmart said deals will be available immediately online early Thanksgiving morning, and in-store at 6 p.m. on the same day, with discounts continuing until all merchandise is sold.
The hope, according to the retailer, is that customers will be more drawn to Walmart’s in-stock guarantee than the fleeting hope of catching a limited-time sale elsewhere.
Steve Bratspies, Walmart’s chief merchandising officer, said shoppers were a big motivator behind the decision to buy “deep.”
“Our plan is fundamentally, make shopping easier for our customers,” Reuters reported Bratspies as saying. “It’s about deals, it’s about availability, and it’s about simplicity.”
In addition to bulking up on in-store merchandise, Walmart will also offer 96 percent of in-store Black Friday deals on its e-commerce site, too, up from 90 percent last season.
The retailer’s holiday strategy is arguably risky, but it’s one Walmart is eager to make, and perhaps has to. After a major stock drop in mid-October following news that its e-commerce and employment investments would yield a 12 percent drop in earnings per share next year, Walmart could use the boost.
Some experts are warning retailers that slow growth in shopping trends and a struggling stock market is a foreshadowing of a less-than-record-breaking holiday shopping season. But Greg Foran, head of Wal-Mart’s U.S. operations, is content with the company’s decisions, and expects great results.
“I think we are OK at this point in time,” he told Reuters.
Foran expects that toys will especially be a high seller. “I think this department is probably going to be in for the biggest Christmas it has had in a long time,” he said.