Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT) has unveiled its Black Friday (which actually begins on Thursday for Wal-Mart this year) circular and announced the timing of three sales events. Stores will open at 8 PM on Thanksgiving Day as event #1, hold a brand name electronics event at 10 PM the same day as event #2 and open at 5 AM on Friday to begin event #3 (all times local and subject to local laws).
The 8 PM Thanksgiving Day event is entitled “Gifts for the Entire Family – Toys, Gaming, Home and Apparel“. Featured items run from home appliances and denim to game consoles and Xbox 360s. At 10 PM is “The BIG Event – Brand Name Electronics” with guaranteed availability for one hour on three items (the Apple iPad®2 16GB with Wi-Fi with a $75 Walmart Gift Card, and the Emerson® 32” 720p LCD TV, and the LG® Blu-ray™ Player) and special prices on many other items. And beginning Friday morning a variety of other items will be featured.
Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, is so named because it is the first day many retailers begin to be profitable or “in the black”. It has become increasingly important to retailers because for more and more consumers it has become an annual event, and it is generally the busiest shopping day of the year. So most retailers offer promotions to lure customers into their stores. The trend has been towards earlier opening times, and increasingly many retailers are beginning promotions before Friday – even before Thanksgiving Day. Wal-Mart’s first-ever Black Friday event on Thanksgiving Day is an example of this trend.