Wal-Mart, the world's biggest retailer, is offering free shipping to homes on almost 60,000 holiday items through its website .
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By Kristen Bahler
November 10, 2016

In a move that’s sure to bring some early holiday cheer to Walmart customers, the retail giant has announced it will offer most of its Black Friday deals online this year.

Shoppers will be able to snag almost all of the chain’s doorbuster promotions on Walmart.com starting at 12:01 a.m. EST on Thanksgiving morning, according to a company statement. That’s 18 hours before Walmart’s in-store Black Friday event begins at 6 p.m. that evening, and three hours earlier than the company’s website began its online Black Friday sale last year.

Starting today, Walmart is also offering select deals through its mobile app — through which shoppers can purchase products from ads in the Black Friday circular and have them home delivered. This is the second year in a row that the company has used mobile buying as a key part in its holiday sales strategy, but this is the earliest that the promotions have been available to users.

The announcement comes at the heels of a similar move from Amazon — which started promoting discounts on a laundry list of electronics, toys, clothes, and household goods, on November 1. Office Depot, for its part, introduced early Black Friday sales on October 30.

Shoppers plan on spending just as much time shopping online as they do in-store this year, according to Deloitte. Consumers polled for the firm’s holiday spending survey said that 47% of their holiday shopping budget will go to online spending, and 47% will go toward purchases inside physical stores.

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