SHARE 3 1 2 COMMENTMORE

As the holiday shopping season kicks off, Walmart is the latest major retailer to announce an even earlier launch to annual Black Friday weekend sales — beginning at dinnertime Thanksgiving evening.

Following a slew of similar announcements from stores including Target, Best Buy and Macy's, Walmart said today that it will hold two major sales events at 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. Thursday evening, two hours earlier than last year. With 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 more customers: offering what experts said were impressive deals and guaranteeing more products to customers in line during the Thursday sales.