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Holiday deals in October? Amazon, Target, Walmart hope you’ll take the bait

Oct 11, 2022

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The holiday creep is coming even earlier this year. It may only be October, but retailers are jumping in on the too-early holiday deals, featuring Black Friday discounts more than six weeks before the famous shopping day.

The push is sparked in part by Amazon Prime’s new Early Access sale, where the company says Prime members can kick off the holiday shopping season early with this Prime Day sequel. Target’s response is a Black Friday extravaganza that started this week. Walmart is also sporting holiday rollbacks for the week.

But it’s not all about competition. This year, a major issue for retailers is an overwhelming excess of inventory plaguing chains. Target and others previously filled warehouses based on shopper’s COVID-19 spending habits, where people poured money into home goods and electronics. But as the pandemic loosened its grip, consumer spending habits changed to services and travel and retailers were left holding the bag.

That’s why Adobe said discounts will hit record highs this season as stores try to offload. According to their research, shoppers could see discounts upwards of 32% this year, far higher than 2021 levels. For instance, computers could be marked down by 32% while last year’s markdowns only touched 10%.

Despite the October holiday shopping push, though, Adobe said the steepest holiday sales will likely still happen between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday. But because of early discounts and inflation, they predict the actual holiday shopping season – November and December – will grow at the slowest pace since at least 2015, when Adobe started keeping track.

“The shape of the holiday season will look different this year, with early discounting in October pulling up spend that would have occurred around Cyber Week,” said Patrick Brown, vice president of growth marketing and insights at Adobe.

Adobe forecasts online sales will hit $209.7 billion this year, up 2.5% from the year prior, compared with last year’s 8.6% growth year over year.

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SIMONE DEL ROSARIO: THANKSGIVING IS MORE THAN SIX WEEKS AWAY BUT YOU WOULDN’T KNOW IT FROM TARGET’S HOME PAGE.

RETAILERS ARE JUMPING IN ON THE TOO EARLY HOLIDAY DEALS, SPARKED IN PART BY AMAZON PRIME’S EARLY ACCESS SALE – WHERE THE COMPANY SAYS MEMBERS CAN KICK OFF THE HOLIDAY SHOPPING SEASON EARLY WITH THIS PRIME-DAY SEQUEL.

TARGET’S RESPONSE – IS A BLACK FRIDAY EXTRAVAGANZA THAT STARTED THIS WEEK…IN EARLY OCTOBER.

AND WALMART IS ALSO SPORTING HOLIDAY ROLLBACKS.

IT’S NOT YOUR IMAGINATION, THE HOLIDAY CREEP IS EARLIER THAN EVER THIS YEAR. 

PART OF THE PLOY IS COMPETING WITH AMAZON. BUT A MAJOR ISSUE FOR RETAILERS IS AN OVERWHELMING EXCESS OF INVENTORY.

SEE RETAILERS LIKE TARGET FILLED WAREHOUSES BASED ON SHOPPERS’ COVID SPENDING HABITS, WHERE PEOPLE POURED MONEY INTO HOME GOODS AND ELECTRONICS. 

BUT AS THE PANDEMIC LOOSENED ITS GRIP, CONSUMER SPENDING CHANGED TO SERVICES AND TRAVEL, AND RETAILERS ARE LEFT HOLDING THE BAG.

THAT’S WHY ADOBE SAYS DISCOUNTS WILL HIT RECORD HIGHS THIS SEASON AS STORES TRY TO OFFLOAD.

DESPITE THE OCTOBER HOLIDAY SHOPPING PUSH, THOUGH, THEY STILL SAY THE STEEPEST SALES WILL HAPPEN BETWEEN THANKSGIVING AND CYBER MONDAY.

BUT BECAUSE OF EARLY DISCOUNTS AND INFLATION, ADOBE PREDICTS THE ACTUAL HOLIDAY SHOPPING SEASON – NOVEMBER DECEMBER – WILL GROW AT THE SLOWEST PACE SINCE AT LEAST 2015, WHEN THEY STARTED KEEPING TRACK.

I’M SIMONE DEL ROSARIO. IN NEW YOR K IT’S JUST BUSINESS.


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