As retailers increasingly turn Black Friday into a Thursday evening event, the world's leading retailer is doing a time-shift of its own. Walmart is moving Cyber Monday, the biggest online retail event of the year, to Sunday.
Walmart and many other companies previously have released sales on the Sunday before Cyber Monday, but this is the first year the retailer based in Bentonville, Ark., has announced that all of its Cyber Monday sales will begin on Sunday. As of now, it’s also the only company to do so.
The shift might be the change the online shopping holiday needs to stay current.
“Cyber Monday started many, many years ago when our customers waited to get back to work after Black Friday … because the only place that they had access to high-speed Internet was at work,” Fernando Madeira, chief executive of Walmart.com, told the Washington Post.
With the increase of access to high-speed Internet in homes and on smart phones, Walmart sees no reason to only allow customers to begin shopping Monday.
Amazon, Walmart's major competitor for Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales, is still scheduled to announce its Cyber Monday deals “after Thanksgiving weekend,” according to their website. However, Amazon is also running week-long sales and lighting deals all week as part of their Black Friday Deals Week.
Stretching Cyber Monday sales into Sunday and the rest of the weekend is also in line with the current industry trend. Many retailers are opening their doors for Black Friday on Thanksgiving, much to the chagrin of many potential customers and employees.
"We're making it easier for customers to get ahead of the busiest online shopping day of the year and save on the best gifts," Madeira told CNN.
Black Friday has traditionally been the competitive shopping holiday for larger retail stores, with a specialty in cheap deals on tech items. Cyber Monday has offered online-only deals the Monday after, with as many as 45 percent more clothing deals and 50 percent more shoe deals than Black Friday, according to The Mirror.
Cyber Monday is the biggest single day for online revenue, with 2015 on track to be the first year Cyber Monday sales reach $3 billion industry wide. Black Friday is a close second, with online sales expected to be near $2.7 billion, according to the Adobe Digital Index.