Bentonville, Ark. - Walmart has leapfrogged its competitors by pre-releasing its entire Black Friday circular and slating the start of the sale for 10 p.m. Thanksgiving night.
The action trumps chief CE rivals Best Buy and Amazon.com, which have been holding pre-Black Friday teaser sales and, for the former, planning midnight store openings.
Walmart said it would begin a phased Black Friday sale at 10 p.m. starting with video gaming, toys and other categories.
Consumer electronics sales will kick in at midnight, and other sale items will be available in stores throughout the weekend and on Walmart.com throughout Thanksgiving Day.
"Our customers told us they would rather stay up late to shop than get up early, so we're going to hold special events on Thanksgiving and Black Friday," said chief merchandising officer Duncan Mac Naughton, "And by sharing our Black Friday specials earlier than ever, we hope to make buying decisions easier for parents working hard to give their families the Christmas they deserve."
Walmart will also provide store-specific floor plans on the company's Facebook page to help customers plan their Black Friday shopping strategy, and promises to match the price of any local competitor's print ad for an identical product throughout the Thanksgiving and holiday periods.
The circular's midnight CE specials include:
- an Emerson 32-inch LCD TV for $188;
- an LG Blu-ray player for $49;
- an HP 15-inch AMD dual-core laptop for $248; and
- a Samsung 51-inch plasma TV for $498.