BENTONVILLE, Ark., Nov. 23, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, Walmart U.S. reported its best ever Black Friday events. The retailer saw larger crowds than last year and a huge response to its first ever one-hour guarantee on key electronic items.
"I'm so proud of what our more than 1.3 million associates have done to prepare and execute our Black Friday plans, giving our customers a great start to their Christmas shopping season," said Bill Simon, Walmart U.S. president and chief executive officer. "The work of our associates is even more impressive when you consider they served approximately 22 million customers on Thursday."
Walmart's Black Friday plan included three events this year at 8 p.m., 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. During the high traffic period from 8 p.m. through midnight, Walmart processed nearly 10 million register transactions and almost 5,000 items per second.
During the 8 p.m. event, customers filled shopping carts with gaming consoles, video games, DVDs, Furbys, fashion dolls, board games and Crock-Pots.
At 10 p.m. it was all about electronics, including big-screen TVs, tablets, laptops and digital cameras. Customers were particularly excited about Walmart's "guaranteed" items, and the turnout for the iPad 2, Emerson 32" LCD TV and LG Blu-ray player was amazing. Customers appreciated this historic offering knowing they were guaranteed to put one of these gifts under their trees.
Since its events began at 8 p.m., Walmart sold more than:
1.8 million towels,
1.3 million televisions,
1.3 million dolls and
"We had very safe and successful Black Friday events at our stores across the country and heard overwhelmingly positive feedback from our customers," Simon said.
In response to the UFCW's planned protests, Simon added, "Only 26 protests occurred at stores last night and many of them did not include any Walmart associates." In addition, the company did not experience the walk-offs that were promised by the UFCW. "We estimate that less than 50 associates participated in the protest nationwide. In fact, this year, roughly the same number of associates missed their scheduled shift as last year," Simon said.
Walmart associates receive a 10 percent discount on general merchandise bought at Walmart stores all year long. Earlier this holiday season, the company rewarded associates with a special holiday discount of 10 percent off most food items from November 9 to January 1 to help make the holidays for its associates and their families even more special.
Also, to recognize those associates who helped serve customers during its Black Friday events, the company is providing an additional 10 percent discount on an entire basket of goods. Eligible associates who helped execute Walmart's Black Friday events will also receive holiday pay.
Black Friday is just the start to a full holiday season of savings at Walmart.
About Walmart Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT) helps people around the world save money and live better – anytime and anywhere – in retail stores, online, and through their mobile devices. Each week, more than 200 million customers and members visit our 10,400 stores under 69 banners in 27 countries and e-commerce websites in 10 countries. With fiscal year 2012 sales of approximately $444 billion, Walmart employs more than 2.2 million associates worldwide. Walmart continues to be a leader in sustainability, corporate philanthropy and employment opportunity. Additional information about Walmart can be found by visiting http://corporate.walmart.com, on Facebook at http://facebook.com/walmart and on Twitter at http://twitter.com/walmartnewsroom. Online merchandise sales are available at http://www.walmart.com and http://www.samsclub.com.