Three of the country’s biggest retailers are taking significant steps to get consumers into the holiday shopping groove — and to do so (much) sooner than later. Beginning Oct. 4, Amazon is offering what the retailer calls “Black Friday-worthy” deals, along with Epic Daily Deals and an Amazon Holiday Prep Shop hub to help consumers organize their holiday gift-giving and event planning.
Target is kicking off its Holiday Price Match Guarantee on Oct. 10, coinciding with the launch of Target Deal Days Oct. 10-12. For the first time, these Deal Day savings will be available in-store as well as online and via the Target app.
“As we approach the holiday season, guests are excited to shop early,” said Christina Hennington, EVP and Chief Growth Officer at Target in a statement. “That’s why we’re bringing back Target Deal Days, offering incredible value earlier than ever.”
For its part, Walmart plans to hire 150,000 new U.S. store associates this season, on top of the 20,000 supply chain associates the retailer already announced it would bring on board. According to a blog post written by Julie Murphy, Chief People Officer at Walmart, most of these 150,000 positions will be permanent and full-time.
Many consumers already have caught on that they don’t need to wait until Black Friday, Cyber Monday or Super Saturday for attractive promotional offers. Based on a recent survey of 1,000 U.S. consumers, Braze found that 71% of shoppers say they plan to shop less on these holiday promotional event days than they have in the past, because retailers are offering more year-round savings and early sales.
A consumer survey conducted in August by YouGov and reported by Yahoo! Finance indicated that just over half (51%) of consumers planned to begin their holiday shopping before Halloween, with 27% saying they would start in late September.
The elongation of the holiday shopping season, already a growing trend in 2019, got a big boost from the supply chain disruptions exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Mainstream media reports of shutdowns at Vietnamese factories and shipping delays affecting items like books have alerted consumers about the dangers of waiting too long to make purchases.
This is one time when retailers and consumers are aligned: both want to avoid the risk of out-of-stocks that could occur later in the holiday season, leading to lost sales for merchants and uncompleted gift lists for shoppers.