October 23, 2019 / 5:23 PM / 23 days ago

Walmart offers holiday deals early to avoid shorter holiday season

FILE PHOTO: Walmart's logo is seen outside one of the stores in Chicago, Illinois, U.S., November 20, 2018. REUTERS/Kamil Krzaczynski/File Photo

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Walmart Inc (WMT.N) will offer online holiday deals a few days earlier this year in order to minimize the impact from a shorter selling period between Thanksgiving and Christmas, the retailer said on Wednesday.

Walmart’s deals on items like toys, electronics and gaming products will begin on Oct. 25.

Thanksgiving, which falls on Nov. 28 this year, is a week later than last year’s Nov. 22, leaving retailers with six fewer days to drive sales.

The last two months of the year are critical for retailers, when they book an outsized portion of their annual sales and profits.

The National Retail Federation has said it expects holiday retail sales to increase between 3.8% and 4.2% this year.

The group also cautioned against uncertainty from trade tensions between the United States and China as a potential drag on the season.

Reporting by Nandita Bose in Washington; Editing by Lisa Shumaker

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