Walmart is revamping its Black Friday sale by offering shoppers three chances to get the “best prices of the season.”
Weeks after “promising an all-new Black Friday experience," Walmart unveiled Wednesday how it will spread out the savings in November with “Black Friday Deals for Days.” Instead of one sale that has traditionally started on Thanksgiving, there will be three different events online and in stores.
Shoppers are expected to shop more online this year, and retailers have announced plans for more e-commerce sales to help reduce crowds and spread out demand amid COVID-19. Walmart's "Big Save" sale that competes against Amazon Prime Day ends Thursday, Oct. 15.
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"These new events are really going to meet two critical needs for us,” Scott McCall, Walmart U.S. executive vice president and chief merchandising officer, said in an interview with USA TODAY. “One is around customer and associate safety and the other one is meeting our customers where they are shopping, which is online."
Walmart's three November sales all start online first and then continue in stores. The first sale starts online at 7 p.m. EST Nov. 4, the second starts Veterans Day and the third begins the night before Thanksgiving, Nov. 25.
"The doorbuster deals will be online, but we're also going to have great prices in-store,” McCall said, adding the online offers makes for a "safer and more convenient way to shop" and helps manage in-store traffic.
McCall said shoppers will have the option for the first time this year to pick up their orders through contact-free curbside pickup between three to seven days after their purchase. He said there will be a separate location in store parking lots for the Black Friday online items to be picked up that is different from the regular curbside pickup.
According to a holiday survey from DealAid.org, 60.2% of consumers plan to shop in-store during the 2020 holiday shopping season compared to 87.4% in 2019.
The survey also found nearly 39% of consumers planned to spend the majority of their in-store holiday shopping budgets in Target and about 26% plan to spend it in Walmart.
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Safety protocols amid COVID-19
Walmart stores continue to operate under reduced hours with most open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., but for the three Black Friday in-store event days stores will open at 5 a.m. local time.
"The customers are going to form a single, straight line and be handed a sanitized cart to help them with social distancing while they wait at 5 a.m. to get in the stores," McCall told USA TODAY.
Stores will have mask requirements, social distancing floor decals and plastic barriers at checkout, McCall said with store "Health Ambassadors" greeting shoppers at entrances and reminding them to put on a mask.
During the in-store Black Friday events, Walmart will meter the number of shoppers to help reduce congestion and promote social distancing, McCall said, adding customers will be directed to shop down the "right-hand side of aisles."
Walmart’s Black Friday sales dates
Black Friday Event 1: Deals will begin online at 7 p.m. EST on Nov. 4 and at 5 a.m. local time Nov. 7. Additional deals will go live at 12 a.m. EST on Nov. 7.
For the first event, Walmart says it will offer “amazing deals” on toys, electronics and home products. Walmart shared one online deal will be an Onn. brand 42-inch UHD Roku TV for $88 and one in-store deal is a Magic Bullet Blender for $15.
Black Friday Event 2: Deals begin online at 7 p.m. EST Wednesday, Nov. 11, with additional deals midnight EST Saturday, Nov. 14. Stores will open at 5 a.m. local time, Nov. 14.
For this event, Walmart says it will “host its biggest wireless phone event ever in-stores and online on Sat., Nov. 14 with amazing deals on iPhones and Samsung phones.”
Black Friday Event 3: Deals begin online at 7 p.m. EST Wednesday, Nov. 25, with additional online deals at midnight EST on Friday, Nov. 27. Stores will open 5 a.m. local time, Nov. 27, which is officially Black Friday.
Walmart says this third event “will offer great prices on even more electronics, toys and gifts across apparel and home, as well as seasonal décor favorites.”
Follow USA TODAY reporter Kelly Tyko on Twitter: @KellyTyko
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Walmart's Black Friday Deals for Days is three sales instead of one