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Wal-Mart to guarantee Black Friday items for early shoppers

November 8, 2012 12:00:00 AM PST
For frustrated Black Friday shoppers who can never grab that hot product before it sells out, Wal-Mart is trying to relieve some anxiety.

Wal-Mart says it will guarantee shoppers that it will have three of the most popular items it sells if they line up inside the store during a one-hour event that day.

Those who are lined up inside the store between 10 p.m. and 11 p.m. on Thanksgiving will be able to purchase the following items: an Apple iPad 2 with Wi-Fi for $399 plus a $74 Wal-Mart gift card; an Emerson 32-inch LCD TV for $148, down from the original $228; and an LG Blu-ray Disc player for $38, about half off the original price.

If the product is sold out, Wal-Mart will offer shoppers a guarantee card for the item, which must be paid for by midnight and registered online. The product will then be shipped to the store for the customer to pick up before Christmas.

"We know it's frustrating for customers to shop on Black Friday and not get the items they want," said Duncan MacNaughton, chief merchandising and marketing officer at Wal-Mart's U.S. division.

Wal-Mart will also be opening two hours earlier, at 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving.

The stepped-up strategy comes as Wal-Mart, based in Bentonville, Ark., is counting on keeping its momentum going at its U.S. business. The holiday shopping season accounts for as much as 40 percent of a retailer's annual sales.

Starting with the 8 p.m. sale on Thanksgiving, Wal-Mart will have two more rounds of sales that will also include a consumer electronics sale two hours later and a sale at 5 a.m. on Friday.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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