It’s almost that time of year again: the holidays that force major retailers to roll out their best deals.
But this year, Target and Walmart are taking a different approach, hoping to avert the effects of inflation and tighter budgets. The Washington Post reported that the two retailers will start their holiday deals even earlier than usual – in the first week of October.
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Target’s “deal days” will begin on October 6, and the retailer will run its price comparison program from then on through Christmas Eve. Walmart’s vacation return program launches October 1. As two of the most dominant players in retail, they are likely to inspire smaller businesses to start early too.
While last year saw more holiday shoppers as pandemic restrictions eased, the impact of inflation on everything from food to fuel may make shoppers less willing to open their wallets. In reality, Deloitte forecasts retail sales to grow just 4-6% during the holiday season — far behind the 15.1% growth rate for the same period in 2021.
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Retailers assume consumers will want to stagger their purchases for the holiday season to avoid a huge bill all at once, and an early start widens that spending window.
Target Corporation is down 38% year over year, while Walmart Inc is down 8% over the same period.