Walmart creeps on Christmas with promo deals before Halloween
Talk about your Christmas creep. Walmart announced yesterday the launch of special early deals for Christmas on walmart.com to get a head start on the selling season, which is six days shorter this year because of when Thanksgiving falls.
Walmart’s Early Deals Drop will kick off at midnight on October 25 with discounts on a wide variety of consumer electronics, home, sporting goods, toys and video gaming products.
“Our price leadership is strong and growing, and we’re excited to deliver savings for all of our holiday shoppers,” said Steve Bratspies, executive vice president and chief merchandising officer, Walmart U.S. “Saving our customers time is also paramount at this time of year, especially with fewer days to get ready for big family meals, parties and gift giving. We’re making sure this season is the easiest yet for our customers with nine tech-enabled ways to shop for everyone on their list — when and how they want.”
The nine ways Walmart is looking to make it easier for customers to shop this holiday season start with existing services such as free two-day shipping, Pickup Today, Online Grocery Pickup and Delivery.
The chain has also added gift finder to its site. The tool provides shoppers with gift options for 40 different types of recipients based on variables of age, gender, price and product category. Visitors provide information about the recipient and types of gifts and the finder displays products that fit the criteria.
A new feature this holiday season is a scannable toy catalog. Shoppers using iOS devices will be able to scan items listed in Walmart’s digitized toy catalog that is dropping on Nov. 1 and buy the toys using their Walmart app. The retailer claims that it will have more than 150 exclusive items for sale heading into the Christmas holiday season.
Another new service that Walmart is offering this year is free next-day delivery on orders of $35 or more on eligible items. The retailer announced in May that it planned to make its NextDay service available to about 75 percent of American consumers by the end of the year. It faces competition from Amazon.com and Best Buy, which offer free next-day delivery, as well.
Walmart has expanded its Check Out With Me to all its supercenter locations. The service allows associates to check customers out of the store without going to a checkout. The chain began testing the service in May 2018 at garden centers in 350 of its stores. Heading into the Christmas season, associates will be able to check customers near the front end, in the consumer electronics department and in Santaland located in supercenter’s garden center.
Shoppers not finding what they want in Walmart’s stores are not out of luck. The chain has expanded its DotCom Store, which allows associates to place orders for a product not available in Walmart’s supercenters. Orders can be shipped to the customer’s home or sent to the store for pickup.
- The Holidays Officially Begin at Walmart; Retailer Announces Plans to Help Customers Get an Early Start on Holiday Shopping – Walmart
- Holiday Gift Finder – Walmart.com
- Best Buy is ready for Christmas with free next-day deliveries for almost everyone – RetailWire
- Walmart associates check out customers on the floor in pilot program – RetailWire
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Will Walmart be rewarded for its decision to start its Christmas sales before Halloween? How will competitors react? Do you think Walmart has things covered with its “nine tech-enabled ways to shop”?