Black Friday 2011: Walmart to Open Early on Thanksgiving to Get Ahead of Competitors

The holiday season for shopping will begin a bit early at Walmart. The consumer giant has announced that it will be opening its doors to excited holiday shoppers at 10:00 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day.

The move on behalf of the mammoth retailer comes following announcements over the last few weeks that other popular retail stores would be opening at midnight.

Target, Macy’s, Best Buy, Gap, Old Navy, Banana Republic, and Kohl’s have all announced that they will be opening their doors in the first hour of America’s most popular shopping day.

However, one to never be one-upped by the competition, Walmart upstaged its retail rivals opting to open its doors two hours earlier and this year the company is pulling out all the stops for the holiday season.

The giant released its Black Friday advertisement 12 days early, already held a “Super Saturday” event offering exclusive deals, and has set up a system that offers consumers lay-away options for holiday purchases.

The drastic new measures being used to lure people into stores mixed with tight consumer wallets due to a staggering American economy, are leading experts to project that this year Black Friday will be the biggest, most expansive Black Friday yet.

Brad Wilson, an online shopping expert that runs websites that focus on Black Friday and bargain shopping, has said that the new measures are a push by retailers to do “everything they can to prolong that day and that weekend.”

Last year consumers spent an estimated $10.7 billion and holiday shopping is said to comprise of about 20 percent of retailers’ annual sales each year.

The president and CEO of National Retail Federal said in a statement: “While businesses remain concerned over the viability of the economic recovery, there is no doubt that the retail industry is in a better position this year to handle consumer uncertainty than it was in 2008 and 2009.”