Wednesday , October 4 2023

Walmart, Target follow Amazon with early start to holiday sales

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Dive Brief:

  • Shortly after Amazon announced its fall Prime member sale, which takes place Oct. 10 to Oct. 12, several major retailers have introduced their own deals. Walmart on Monday announced Walmart Deals – Holiday Kickoff, which will run from Oct. 9 through Oct. 12 and feature online deals on electronics, home, fashion and toys. The event “will jumpstart the entire season of savings at Walmart,” a company spokesperson told Retail Dive via email.
  • Target on Tuesday also announced the return of Target Circle Week from Oct. 1 through Oct. 7. Target said it plans to offer “deep discounts on thousands of items,” and Target Circle members can get up to 40% off.
  • And Best Buy on Tuesday announced its holiday sneak peek. The electronics retailer said its holiday deals this year will include a 48-hour flash sale starting Oct. 10 that will feature deals on TVs, laptops, headphones and smartwatches.

Dive Insight:

This week’s announcements about early holiday sales – which are starting before Halloween and about six weeks before the traditional start of the holiday shopping season in late November – come about 24 hours after Amazon announced that its second major sale this year, Prime Big Deal Days, will run for 48 hours starting Oct. 10.

Holiday promotions have steadily slid earlier into the fall and moved more online in recent years.

“We know Walmart customers are shopping early and searching for the best deals, and we know they prefer special deals to be spread out over the season as opposed to one moment,” a Walmart spokesperson told Retail Dive. Walmart said customers can shop the deals from Walmart’s holiday kickoff savings event exclusively online or on the Walmart app.

Some of the recently announced retail promotions and incentives are set to run from October through almost the end of the year. Target, for example, is also promoting its Deal of the Day, which will offer “deep daily discounts” on brands like Apple, Dyson and Nintendo from Oct. 1 through Dec. 24. 

Meanwhile, Best Buy is promoting October as Member Exclusive Month. Every day in October, members of its Plus and Total loyalty programs “will get exclusive access to thousands of deals and discounts” on popular consumer tech products, the company said. And members who spend $500 in October will receive a $50 reward certificate to use on Best Buy purchases in December. Best Buy is capping the month by giving loyalty program members early access to some Black Friday deals from Oct. 27 through Oct. 29.

Retailers appear to be positioning early holiday sales as a way to meet consumer expectations regarding convenience and potential savings as a tough economy has continued to discourage spending on discretionary purchases throughout the first half of the year.

“This is a time the Target team shines, and we’re ready to deliver affordability, inspiration and convenience to help our guests celebrate holiday traditions with loved ones,” Target’s Chief Growth Officer Christina Hennington said in a statement. 

And at Best Buy, “our teams are ready to deliver a holiday like never before — with more savings, convenient gift pick-up and delivery, as well as new in-store, online and virtual experiences that will inspire customers while they shop this season,” Jason Bonfig, the senior executive vice president of customer offerings and fulfillment at the tech retailer, said in an announcement.

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