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Walmart Plans Early Christmas Eve Close

Walmart may have begun its Black Friday sales on Thanksgiving, but it is closing early on Christmas Eve.

The No. 1 discount chain said it will shut its stores two hours earlier than last year on Dec. 24, as “Getting home on Christmas Eve to spend time with families is important,” said Walmart U.S. COO Judith McKenna.

It will also be the first night of Hanukkah.

To compensate for the early close, the retailer will provide last-minute in-store pick up of eligible online purchases. Orders placed as late at 6 p.m. on Dec. 23 can be retrieved right up until closing the following day under its same-day pick-up program, which covers thousands of locally stocked items.

Walmart has also set up a dedicated microsite —  — to help customers identify eligible products.

“We’ve promised customers that we will be there for them the entire holiday season whether they are shopping for gifts or the everyday basics they count on us for,” said chief merchandising officer Steve Bratspies. “We are making it easy for customers to find last-minute gifts in stores and online by ensuring we’re stocked with top items and offering pickup through Dec. 24.”

Eligible tech items include:

*Promark’s 3D virtual reality HD drone for $148;

*Dream Vision VR headset for $17.88;

*Google Home for $129;

*Fuji Instax Mini7s camera with 10-pack film for $49, a $10 savings;

*GoPro Hero 5 Session Camera for $299;

*a Roku 55-inch 4K Ultra HD smart TV for $428;

*Vizio’s SmartCast 65-inch 4K Ultra HDTV with Chromecast for $778 and the Roku Express+ for $39;

*Xbox One S White 500GB “Battlefield 1” console bundle and PlayStation 4 “Uncharted 4” console bundle, each for $269, a $30 savings;

*HP’s Manhattan Gold Ci5 touch laptop for $499, a $100 savings; and

*Samsung’s Tab A 8-inch tablet for $149, a $20 savings.