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Walmart kicks off Cyber Monday on Friday

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Walmart is coming out strong this holiday season with early online deals hoping to fight Amazon. Djenane Beaulieu (@djenanebeaulieu) reports.

NEW YORK – Cyber Monday is starting earlier and earlier.

Walmart Stores Inc. is kicking off its so-called “Cyber Monday” deals at 12:01 a.m. EST Friday, two days earlier than last year.

Last year, it pulled up the deals to the Sunday evening after Thanksgiving for the first time.

Cyber Monday, the Monday after Thanksgiving, was coined in 2005.

The National Retail Federation’s online arm called Shop.org to encourage online shopping when people returned to offices where they had high-speed Internet access.

Now with Internet access everywhere, stores are seeking to keep pace with shoppers eager for cyber deals even earlier.

The move comes as Walmart aims to better compete with online leader Amazon.com for customers.

Walmart reported its online sales growth accelerated in the third quarter.