Walmart Black Friday 2013 Sales Moved Up to Start on Thanksgiving Itself

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Kicking off holiday season shopping earlier than ever, Walmart Black Friday 2013 sales will kick off not on Friday, November 29, but on Thanksgiving itself.

Walmart stores will offer 21 "guaranteed" products if customers stand in line for them during the 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. and 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday events.

If so, the nation's largest retailer ensures as part of its Black Friday 2013 bonanza that customers will get a product, either that night or before Christmas.

For some products, shoppers can wait in line for wristbands signifying their purchase, then shop for other items, as long as they return to pick up their product.

They must do that within two hours of the start of the sales events.

The Walmart policy follows a slew of similar announcements from stores including Target, Best Buy and Macy's pushing similar holiday shopping initiatives.

It's also a product of this year's six-day shorter holiday shopping season and low rates of consumer confidence following the government shutdown.

Walmart is upping its efforts to draw in customers, offering what experts said were impressive deals and guaranteeing more products to customers in line.

Some exclusive sales will still occur Friday, including an 8 a.m. sales event and "manager's specials" discounts on high-demand items throughout the store.

But this year, many of the best deals occur or begin on Thursday itself, including online shopping bargains that start early Thanksgiving morning.

Stores moving major sales to Thursday is a "big move," said online deal expert Brad Wilson, founder of deal analysis website BradsDeals (dot) com.

"We saw even in the last two years, when stores were opening Thursday, they weren't necessarily kicking off promotions on Thursday," he said. "This really shifts the focus."

Black Friday is becoming more of a "six-day weekend" than a single day, Wilson said, and Walmart's early events are an effort to keep up with the competition.

"Almost everybody is moving at least one hour up," he said. "We thought that was the best time to 'win the weekend.' It's going to be a competitive market."

In other news, Walmart civil disobedience protests in L.A. led to more than 50 arrests last week, as workers and others decry their wages and practices.