Retail colossus Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT) announced this morning that it's starting Black Friday earlier than ever this year. In a press release describing the event as Wal-Mart's "Super Bowl," president and CEO of Wal-Mart U.S. Bill Simon said the move is aimed at giving "customers an incredible Black Friday with shopping hours that will allow them to take advantage of great prices on Thanksgiving night and all weekend long."

Wal-Mart plans to begin specials at 6 p.m. Thursday, though actual store opening times will vary by state. The retailer will also be significantly increasing its inventory on hand, especially for popular items like televisions and tablets. The company also plans to feature more "Manager Specials."

Motley Fool analyst Jason Moser believes powerful brick-and-mortar stores will continue to succeed, despite encroachment from e-tailers like Amazon.com (NASDAQ:AMZN). He sees Wal-Mart as a conservative stock that could be appealing for older investors looking to protect their wealth.