Walmart Inc. is waiting until November to start its biggest Christmas sales promotions this year, although it began offering deals and rollbacks on certain items online and in stores Monday evening.
Its rivals Amazon.com and Target Corp. started their Black Friday-like sales events earlier this month.
Walmart said in a news release Sunday that it's bringing back its monthlong Black Friday Deals for Days because of the "overwhelmingly positive customer feedback" it got after debuting the event last year.
The Bentonville-based retailer will again offer three promotional events in November, starting online and continuing in stores a couple of days later.
The first event, featuring discounts on toys and electronics, will begin online at 6 p.m. Nov. 3 and in stores at 5 a.m. Nov. 5. The second, with deals on apparel and home goods, starts at 6 p.m. Nov. 10 online and at 5 a.m. Nov. 12 in stores.
Walmart did not give dates or times for the third event, but hinted that it may be the traditional day-after-Thanksgiving Black Friday. The third sale "will bring the biggest, best savings of the season for the most exciting shopping day of the year," the company said.
New this year, Walmart Plus members will get access to all three online sales four hours before they become available to others.
"We continue to build Walmart Plus to be the ultimate life hack for our customers," said Janey Whiteside, chief customer officer for Walmart U.S. "We're excited for our Walmart Plus members to be first in line for the hottest Black Friday deals out there."
The $98-a-year subscription service includes everyday benefits such as free unlimited delivery from stores and free shipping with no order minimum. Other perks include its Rx for Less prescription program and mobile Scan & Go shopping.
All the Christmas event deals will continue as long as supplies last. But Walmart said it will have "more of every event product available so as many customers as possible can take advantage of the season's best deals."
The company says it has gone to great lengths to navigate snags all along the supply chain. Walmart made headlines in recent weeks for chartering ships to import merchandise from China.
Walmart executives spoke to investors in August about the chartered vessels and other measures it was taking to shore up inventory and reduce out-of-stocks for the second half of the year, such as adding extra lead time in ordering merchandise.
John Furner, chief executive officer of Walmart U.S., said in the second-quarter conference call that the company's supply chain team had done well at managing the disruptions in the global supply chain. Walmart has secured resources for transporting goods in the third and fourth quarters, he said.
Also in August, Kathryn McLay, chief executive officer of Walmart's Sam's Club division, said in a video interview with Yahoo Finance that she was confident Sam's Club would have sufficient inventory on hand for consumers, especially going into the Christmas shopping season.
"We have been working through supply chain challenges it feels like for the past 18 months, and it has certainly gotten better," McLay said. "We've had to work to pull forward inventory and to make sure that we are prioritizing that the right freight gets here on time."