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Reuters reports that Walmart plans to offer its Cyber Monday online deals two days early this year, making them available on Black Friday - the day after Thanksgiving, the traditional beginning of the end-of-year holiday shopping season. It is a move, the story says, that "comes at a time when Black Friday is losing its importance as early discounts and online shopping keep shoppers away from stores."

The story points out that Walmart "recently said it will boost its online inventory for Black Friday by more than half this year, as it pulls out all stops to grow online sales this holiday season. The retailer has grown its online inventory to 23 million items from 8 million at the start of the year."
KC's View:
It seems to me that one of the things we're seeing is Walmart being pushed by Amazon to change its game, to play on Amazon's terms. Which is one of the reasons that its profit numbers have been down, as it lowers prices to be competitive and accepts the notion that it has to view the decline as an investment in e-commerce. And, now it is pulling out the stops to drive more and more business to its online operation, using its stores as a last-mile advantage where and when possible.

I still think that Amazon and Walmart are playing different games - that Walmart just wants to sell more stuff, while Amazon is working from an ecosystem strategy that is a lot more ambitious. But the battle is almost certainly going to get more competitive and a lot more interesting...