REUTERS/ Kevork Djansezian
- Customers are slamming Walmart after items from TVs to clothing ran out of stock online.
- Walmart kicked off its online Black Friday sale at 12:01 a.m. on Thanksgiving Day.
- The retailer has tripled its online assortment this year — but it needs to keep items in stock if it wants to compete with Amazon.
Some customers are furious at Walmart after the retailer ran out of Black Friday sales items on Thanksgiving Day.
"What's the point in having online black Friday if everything is either out of stock or in store purchase only?" reads one comment on Walmart's Facebook page on Thursday.
Another reads: "Why is it that many of the sale items in the black Friday ad that are supposed to be available all day today are not online?!?! This is ridiculous and the worst crap walmart has pulled yet!"
"Nothing is in stock online and store selection sucks," reads a third.
Walmart's Black Friday sales started online at midnight on Thursday morning. By Thursday evening, many of the items were sold out.
Items that were out of stock ranged from electronics such as the advertised Sharp Smart LED TV, to best-selling clothing such as Wrangler jeans, kids' pajamas, and fleece jackets, to a wide range of video games.
It's possible that Walmart will restock these items online, either at sales prices or at higher costs. Walmart did not immediately respond to Business Insider's request for comment.
In any case, restocking later doesn't prevent customers' anger now — or help Walmart compete with Amazon.
Walmart made a major investment in its online shopping business this year, with perks like free two-day shipping on orders of greater than $35. The retailer announced earlier in November that it has tripled its online assortment for the holidays when compared to a year ago, including doubling its toy offerings.
The ability to keep these items in stock online is crucial for Walmart if it wants to compete with Amazon. While Amazon's prices often skyrocket on popular items, it rarely truly runs out of stock thanks to its extensive range of third-party retailers who also sell items on the site.