In an effort to gain a leg up on the competition, several retailers have recently announced earlier store-hour openings for Black Friday. Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT) set the pace this year by saying it will open its door’s at 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day. Other retailers are are following its lead, but Wal-Mart also expects to boost sales through enhanced digital offerings.
Shortly after Wal-Mart revealed it will essentially be moving Black Friday to Thanksgiving Day, Target (NYSE:TGT) and Sears Holdings (NASDAQ:SHLD) also moved up their “must-have” deals for the holiday season. Target will begin Black Friday at 9 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day, while Sears has doorbusters starting at 8 p.m. The retail sector is a highly competitive area, but Wal-Mart is hoping to attract more traffic away from competitors through consumers using mobile devices.
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Gibu Thomas, senior vice president of mobile and digital strategy at Wal-Mart, explains to Internet Retailer that 40 percent of shoppers visiting the world’s largest retailer electronically this holiday season will do so on a smartphone or tablet. In comparison, this is nearly three times the percentage of mobile traffic from last year’s holiday season. Wal-Mart is looking to further capitalize from the shift to mobile by updating its app for smartphones and tablets.
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