Walmart gets a Thursday start on Black Friday

BENTONVILLE, Ark. — Walmart announced that it is starting its Black Friday promotions at 10 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day (Nov. 24), raising the question: "Should we just call it Black Thursday already?"

For the first time, Walmart will open its stores at 10 p.m. to offer customers special savings on top toys, home and apparel. Deals include Barbie dolls for $5 each, a $20 inflatable snowman, a 20-piece Paula Deen cookware set for $86.44 and kids character sleepwear sets for $4.47. 

Customers that can't away from their Thanksgiving festivities until later that night can take advantage of Walmart's midnight electronics event, which will include deals on such items as an LG Blu-ray player for $49, a Sansui 19" TV for $98 and an HP all-in-one printer for $19.

Customers that can find time to sneak away from their friends and family to do a little shopping can take advantage of such online-only specials at Walmart.com as 46" HDTVs for under $400 and electric ride-ons, priced under $40. 

For those who prefer to shop Black Friday on Friday, Walmart said that it will offer specials starting at 8 a.m. on Nov. 25. Deals include Goodyear tires starting at $59, a Vizio 42" 3D LED HDTV for $598 and a $100 Walmart gift card with the purchase of any smartphone with contract.

Walmart said it is also helping shoppers plan their in-store shopping strategy by making available store-specific maps on Facebook. To access the map, shoppers simply need to find their favorite store by clicking on the "My Local Walmart" application on Walmart's Facebook page.

"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 Duncan Mac Naughton, chief merchandising officer, Walmart U.S. "We'll have this season's hottest gifts at prices only Walmart can provide. 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."