The race is on among retailers to capture what remains of Americans’ holiday shopping dollars. And the nation’s largest retailer, Walmart (WMT), isn’t taking any chances.
The Bentonville, Ark.-based company announced on Friday that it plans to keep its stores open until 8 p.m. on Christmas Eve to accommodate the 80% of Americans it estimates haven’t yet completed their holiday shopping.
In a press release, Walmart stressed the consumer demand for Star Wars related merchandise. “We’re stocked up on Star Wars merchandise and other top gifts in our stores and online because one of the biggest frustrations for last minute shoppers is not being able to find the gift they want,” Steve Breen, senior vice president of merchandising for Walmart.com, said in a statement.
This is the latest in a series of moves by Walmart to beat back the competition during the holiday shopping season. The retailer started its Black Friday deals early, and it discounted products sold online for longer periods than in years past. Walmart is also offering free shipping on all orders all day Friday. It normally requires a minimum $50 purchase to qualify for free shipping.