Black Friday may not be able to keep its name much longer. This holiday season, Walmart plans to get the shopping madness started a bit earlier than in times past—on Thursday. Or as most of us call it, Thanksgiving.

The retailer will open its doors to all of the rabid jackals and sadistic lunatics willing to forage for deals at 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving night. In addition, customers hanging out in the store between 10 p.m. and 11 p.m. will get to take part in a special one-hour event allowing them the following deals: an Wi-Fi-enabled Apple iPad 2 for $399 (with a $74 Wal-Mart gift card); an Emerson 32-inch LCD TV for $148; and an LG Blu-ray player for $38.

Representatives from Walmart say they have “bought very deep,” stocking their inventory to meet customer demand. "We know it's frustrating for customers to shop on Black Friday and not get the items they want," said Duncan MacNaughton, chief merchandising and marketing officer at Walmart's U.S. division. The company plans to offer "guarantee cards" to customers in stores between 10 and 11 Thanksgiving night who desire an item that is sold out, provided they pay for it that night.

Wal-Mart hopes to further combat the competition this holiday season starting with the sale on Thanksgiving and another one beginning at 5 a.m. on Friday.

[NBC News]