Walmart Starts Holiday Sales While It's Still 90 Degrees in Phoenix

It’s that time of year again. Actually, it’s a little early for that time of year, but there’s a good reason to get a jump on holiday season shopping this year, according to the world’s largest retailer.

Walmart Inc. (NYSE: WMT) announced Wednesday that it will launch its first holiday sales event — an Early Deals Drop — at the company’s website on Friday, October 25, at midnight, just two days from now.

The company is not just trying to get a jump on other retailers but claims to be providing a service that shoppers will need this year. The number of shopping days available between Thanksgiving and Christmas Day is six days shorter this year. That means that procrastinators may be thinking that they have more time than they really do to get their shopping finished on time.

At least, that’s how Walmart sees it. Executive vice-president and chief marketing officer for Walmart U.S., Steve Bratspies, commented, “Customers count on Walmart for the best prices every day, and the holiday season is no exception. … Saving our customers time is also paramount at this time of year, especially with fewer days to get ready for big family meals, parties and gift giving. We’re making sure this season is the easiest yet for our customers with nine tech-enabled ways to shop for everyone on their list – when and how they want.”

Last week Walmart announced price cuts on more than 400 toys to gin up even earlier excitement for the 2019 holiday season.

In addition to the early start to price rollbacks, Walmart is also offering a new gift finder program at its website that will help shoppers select gifts in 40 categories based on gender, age and price.

At the risk of sounding curmudgeonly (“Hey, you kids, get off my lawn!”), it seems that beginning to shop for Christmas gifts when the average temperature in Phoenix and Miami is near 90 could be a bit early. By the look at today’s weather (courtesy of Weather Underground), it may not be too early in the Northern Rockies and Upper Midwest.