(NEXSTAR) – Walmart isn’t even pretending to wait around for Black Friday anymore.
On Monday, the retailer announced the return of its “Black Friday Deals for Days” promotion, which includes several separate shopping “events” for online and in-store customers — most of which commence well before the date of Black Friday (Nov. 26) actually rolls around, and one which begins Monday, Oct. 18.
This year’s Black Friday events, according to Walmart, are designed to stretch the deals across three different shopping periods — rather than center them around a single date — to deliver a “safe, convenient shopping experience” for customers. The retailer had also hosted a similar “Black Friday Deals for Days” event ahead of the 2020 holiday season, in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
Like last year, all three shopping dates will be spread throughout November. But this time around, Walmart is offering its Walmart+ subscribers early access to this year’s deals, allowing members to begin their online shopping four hours before everyone else.
- Event 1 begins at Walmart.com on Nov. 3 at 7 p.m. (Walmart+ subscribers can sign on as of 3 p.m.) and continues in-store on Nov. 5 at 5 a.m. Select deals include a 55-inch TCL 4K Roku TV for $228, a Keurig K-Compact for $35, and $20 off Goodyear tires during Walmart’s tire-savings event, among other offers.
- Event 2 commences Nov. 10 at 7 p.m. for online shoppers (3 p.m. for Walmart+ members) and continues in-store on Nov. 12 at 5 a.m. Deals include an HP laptop for $279, a Shark EZ Robot Vacuum for $288, and Apple AirPods for $89.
- The dates and deals for Event 3 have yet to be announced, but Walmart claims it will wrap up its “Black Friday Deals for Days Event” with its “biggest, best savings of the season.”
For those who want an even earlier jump on their holiday shopping, Walmart is also offering certain Black Friday deals ahead of its three events, starting at 8:15 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 18, while supplies last. Select offers include a Ninja 4QT Air Fryer for $69, a 55-inch TCL Smart 4K UHD TV for $298, and a 442-piece Lego set for $20.
Customers can visit Walmart’s Black Friday 2021 portal for more.
Walmart originally announced a similar “Black Friday Deals for Days” ahead of the 2020 holiday season, citing the health and safety of shoppers and employees as the reason for its more “thoughtful” planning.
“By spreading deals out across multiple days and making our hottest deals available online, we expect the Black Friday experience in our stores will be safer and more manageable for both our customers and our associates,” Walmart U.S. chief merchandising officer Scott McCall said in a statement issued October 2020.
This year, Walmart said 2021’s Black Friday events would follow a similar structure following “overwhelmingly positive feedback.”
Walmart isn’t the only major retailer spacing out its Black Friday deals. Shops and marketplaces had been moving their Black Friday events earlier and earlier even before the pandemic, and now retailers including Amazon, Target, and Best Buy, among others, are offering Black Friday deals a whole month before Thanksgiving.
Most of these deals are coming just in time, too. The Better Business Bureau is advising shoppers to buy their holiday gifts early because of a microchip shortage that could make it difficult (or just more expensive) to buy computers, tablets, phones, or even electronic toys.
“If you find it, grab it right now,” Leslie Blackwell, the director of public affairs at BBB serving central Virginia, told WRIC.