BENTONVILLE, AK-Sources close to the marketing department of Walmart Stores, Inc., the world's largest retailer, have confirmed that all Walmart stores will open at 1 p.m. local time on Christmas Day in order to kick off the frenzy of sales of Valentine's Day cards, candies, treats and more.
The sale of Valentine's Day-related merchandise is seen as a way for Walmart to not just finish up the calendar year in the black, but to start off the subsequent calendar year in the black as well, noted E. Z. Money, the director of promotions for Walmart.
"We aren't going to give the customers' credit cards or the employees a break," Money said. "Once they've opened up their presents and stuffed themselves with turkey, ham or whatever, then we want them in our stores to buy candies, cards, gift cards for movies and romantic restaurants, lingerie-whatever is appropriate for Valentine's Day. We intend for Valentine's Day to mean not just love but sales and more sales.
"That's why we've decided to extend the Valentine's shopping season to over six weeks," added Money. "After all, the Christmas shopping season is always short. It doesn't even last five weeks during the years when Thanksgiving falls on November 22."
Walmart apparently isn't the only store planning to start Black Valentine's Day observations on Christmas Day. Correspondents have heard that such stores as Target, Macy's, Costco and Dillard's might also open sometime on Christmas Day. In fact, one anonymous source noted that K-Mart and Sears will be opening at Christmas Eve at 9 p.m.
"They plan to give their employees just three hours or so' break from dealing with the last-minute Christmas Eve shopping crowds," noted the source. "Then they will have to come back to deal with the customers who want to get a head start on their Valentine's Day shopping. We're thinking of training Cupids who would talk to lovelorn people to ask them what they want for Valentine's Day and setting up displays with train rides for the little ones. We might even establish an in-store dating service operated by eHarmony.com or Match.com."