Walmart will kick off its holiday sales rush at 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving, its earliest start ever, and will guarantee that those who line up can buy a trio of gadgets as it places a big bet that shoppers are ready to spend this holiday season.
The holiday season is critical for Wal-Mart Stores Inc , the world's largest retailer, and its Walmart U.S. division. More than a quarter of its annual sales come during the holiday season.
At 8 p.m. local time on Thanksgiving, Walmart's offers will include deals on video games starting at $10 and home appliances such as a Crock Pot slow cooker and a Mr. Coffee maker for $9.44 each.
Walmart also said it would guarantee that three items will be available that night to people standing in line in its stores between 10 p.m. and 11 p.m. on Thanksgiving, though the items are not among the hottest new gadgets of the year.
Those shoppers are guaranteed access to an Apple iPad 2 16GB with Wi-Fi, a March 2011 version, priced at $399 with a $75 Walmart Gift Card; a 32-inch Emerson 720p LCD TV at $148, $80 below the usual price; and an LG Blu-ray player for $38 that Walmart does not typically sell but said goes for $68 to $79 elsewhere.
After a round of specials focused on electronics at 10 p.m. Walmart will take a break from special deals, giving shoppers a chance to get some rest or perhaps visit other stores.
Walmart now keeps its stores open overnight between Thanksgiving and Black Friday after an employee was trampled to death when a Long Island store opened on Black Friday in 2008.
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