Laura Phillips

Joe Keenan is the executive editor of Total Retail. Joe has more than 10 years experience covering the retail industry, and enjoys profiling innovative companies and people in the space.

Wal-Mart said Thanksgiving Day delivered the second-highest online sales day ever, topped only by Cyber Monday last year. In a press release Friday, Laura Phillips, senior vice president of merchandising at Wal-Mart U.S., said more than 25 million people downloaded the retailer's Black Friday ad. Tablets, TVs, sheets, children's apparel and video gaming were the top five categories of the night, while Disney's "Frozen" Snow Glow Elsa doll was one of the night's top toys.

NEW YORK ? Wal-Mart did not say how many toys it is discounting, but Laura Phillips, senior vice president of toys and seasonal merchandising, said in a statement the company conducted focus groups throughout the year to ensure that the company has the right toys in stock and offered at discounts. The early, aggressive discounts are an opening gambit in what's expected to be a positive selling season for toys. Spending on toys is expected to rise 2 percent this year after declining 1 percent to $21.47 billion last year, according to The NPD Group, which does market research.

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