Walmart extends Black Friday deals as spending habits change

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Walmart Inc will extend its Black Friday deals beyond the usual one day period this year, the world's largest retailer said on Wednesday, as the COVID-19 pandemic forces consumers to significantly change their spending habits.

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The revamped promotion will offer Walmart shoppers reduced prices during three separate savings events across November, the company said. Each savings event will begin online at Walmart.com and continue in Walmart stores.

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While Black Friday, held the day after the Thanksgiving public holiday, remains a major marketing event for retailers, its relevance has faded in recent years due to early online promotions.

In recent months, a slew of retailers including Walmart, Target, Best Buy, and Kohl's, announced plans to roll-out their earliest shopping season, moving winter holiday promotions forward to as early as October.

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On Tuesday, Best Buy sent an email to shoppers advertising deeply discounted laptops, tablets, printers and other items for their "Black Friday Prices Guaranteed Sale."

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Several major U.S. retailers have also announced store closures on Thanksgiving and plan to bypass the midnight Black Friday door-buster sales, which traditionally mark the start of the holiday season, due to social distancing requirements.

"Although this year's event looks different, our commitment to what our customers depend on us for…hasn't changed," said Scott McCall, Walmart U.S. executive vice president and chief merchandising officer.

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Those promotions will be on everything from TVs to bath towels to blenders.

(Reporting by Melissa Fares in New York; Editing by Sam Holmes)

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