Wal-Mart is worried about lousy holiday shopping, so the retail giant is pulling out its Christmas deals one whole month early -- hoping, perhaps, that the longer you are faced with a bargain, the more likely you will be to crumble.
This move comes as Black Friday -- that holiday shopping landmark -- is rapidly morphing into Black Thursday. Some retailers aren't waiting for the crack of dawn on the Friday after Thanksgiving or even midnight. J.C. Penney and Macy's will both open at 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day for a 25-hour overnight shopping extravaganza, the Associated Press has reported. That's 8 p.m. Thursday to 9 p.m. Friday.
It's notable, however, that only on Black Friday will Penney's customers be able to get a free Disney snow globe. You may remember that tradition. Penney's reestablished it after a host of complaints for dropping the snow globes last year for promotional buttons. The announcement on the retailer's Facebook page showed that you can never please everyone, as there were a host of complaints from the pro-button faction.
Outside of snow globes, it seems Black Friday has become a fuzzy concept. Even Cyber Monday is losing its luster.
Amazon.com on Friday launched its Black Friday Deals Store, for instance. As the Los Angeles Times' Tiffany Hsu reported, Amazon is offering an unprecedented two Deals of the Day every day through Dec. 22.
The site states: "Black Friday isn't until the day after Thanksgiving, but since you're already here, looking for Black Friday deals, we kicked off the deals a little early. We're counting down to Black Friday Deals Week with, yes, even more deals, all day, every day."
So there's no real reason to call them Black Friday deals, is there?
Meanwhile, Wal-Mart Stores Inc., the world's largest retailer, is trying to "help our customers" by offering hundreds of holiday deals long before Black Friday. Seven big deals usually not seen until the day after Thanksgiving are being offered on items including televisions and tablets, the AP reports.
"It's been a tough year" for Americans, company Chief Executive Joel Anderson told the news outlet. "It's our job to be able to help our customers."
Deals include 36% savings on a JVC 42-inch LED television and 51% savings on a 10-inch Xelio tablet -- at $299 for the TV and and $49 for the tablet, those are the lowest tags Wal-Mart has ever put on those products.
Oh, sure, it sounds selfless, but as Hsu noted, stores are racing to claim their portion of what's predicted to be a so-so shopping season.
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