BENTONVILLE – Walmart, the nation’s largest retailer, announced today that they will officially start their Holiday shopping period in March this year.
Starting next week Walmart will roll out Christmas decorations and specials to roughly half of their 4,200+ locations throughout the United States. The remaining locations will pick up the promotion by the end of the month.
“The new shopping period will go from March until the week after Christmas,” Walmart CEO Doug McMillon said in a press conference. “Additionally we will have a special shopping day with large sales, similar to Black Friday, on Good Friday which is the Friday before Easter.”
Walmart says to expect more details on Good Friday shopping to come over the next few weeks. They are working with a number of large brands to time large product releases and pre-ordering to occur on the day.
Christmas shopping has grown significantly over the last several years. Walmart released data showing that in 1962, when Walmart was founded, their customers spent an average of $43 (adjusted for inflation) on Christmas shopping. Last year Walmart their average family spent over $600 with the retailer on Christmas.
“We believe that extending the holiday shopping period is good for Walmart customers,” McMillon says. “Traditional Holiday shopping periods force customers to spend that entire $600 in roughly a month. Our new shopping period allows customers to enjoy those same deals on presents and decorations over 10 months. That becomes only $60 a month, and with free layaway you can go ahead and buy everything now.”
Walmart says that the move will result in over 8,000 new jobs across the country as they begin replacing store greeters with Santa Clauses year around.