Black Friday is a made-up thing, you know? Holiday shopping doesn’t have to start then anymore than Presidents’ Day must occur on a president’s actual birthday. The reports that this holiday shopping season–predicted to be the biggest ever–got off to a weak start on Thanksgiving weekend apparently obscured a big fat fact: Walmart and other retailers started their holiday sales earlier. Way earlier. Despite what you see on the news, there are people who would rather not wake at 4am to get a flatscreen TV on the Friday after Thanksgiving.
So Walmart, which has been struggling of late, entered this holiday season like an athlete on steroids: thinking win at all costs. Walmart started discounting items at the start of November–chopping prices on 20,000 products at the beginning of the month instead of waiting for the end. So don’t worry, just because the stores weren’t packed on Thanksgiving weekend doesn’t mean you won’t get what’s on your list. Unless you were naughty, of course.