Christmas in October: Here’s Why Walmart & Target Are Starting Holiday Sales Earlier Than Ever

Santa's gloved hand placing a Santa Hat on a carved glowing happy Jack O' Lantern looking at the camera sitting on a bale of straw with dried corn stalks and a weather red barn wall in the background at night under a blue moon light.
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Several big box retailers, including Walmart and Target, announced earlier than ever pre-holiday sales events to attract more customers. Last year retailers were plagued by supply chain issues, which in turn, left many Americans staring at empty shelves. This year, the relentless inflation is pushing many customers to shop early in an attempt to hunt for deals and snag lower price tags — and retailers want to be ready.

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Indeed, nearly 30% of consumers have already started their holiday shopping, and 55% say inflation has changed their gifting and spending plans for 2022, according to a JungleScout survey.

“This holiday retail season is bound to be far more promotional than the last,” Steve Sadove, senior advisor for Mastercard and former CEO and Chairman of Saks Incorporated, said in a MasterCard Spending Pulse press release. “Easing supply chain issues coupled with the rapid shift in consumer spending trends and over-ordering inventory have left retailers in an interesting position ahead of the holidays. Retailers that were able to clear past merchandise and accurately forecast inventory needs will be the best positioned for growth.”

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Earlier this month, Target announced a Deal Days event from Oct. 6 to Oct. 8, to help deal seekers “find savings on hundreds of thousands of items online and in stores,” according to an announcement.

And Walmart announced a newly extended holiday return policy, which extends returns, starting Oct. 1 and running through Jan. 31.

“More than half of Walmart customers will start their holiday shopping research in October and Walmart is prepared to meet their needs and help them make the most of the season with an exceptional experience no matter how, when or where they want to shop,” the company said in a press release.

In addition, earlier this week, Amazon announced it will be hosting a second Prime Day-like event, the first time the company is holding such an event twice in a year, “to kick off the holiday shopping season early.”

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Dubbed Prime Early Access Sale, the two-day global shopping event will run Oct. 11-12 and will be exclusive to Prime members in 15 countries, the company announced in a Monday, Sept. 26 press release.  

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About the Author

Yaël Bizouati-Kennedy is a full-time financial journalist and has written for several publications, including Dow Jones, The Financial Times Group, Bloomberg and Business Insider. She also worked as a vice president/senior content writer for major NYC-based financial companies, including New York Life and MSCI. Yaël is now freelancing and most recently, she co-authored  the book “Blockchain for Medical Research: Accelerating Trust in Healthcare,” with Dr. Sean Manion. (CRC Press, April 2020) She holds two master’s degrees, including one in Journalism from New York University and one in Russian Studies from Université Toulouse-Jean Jaurès, France.
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