It’s almost that time of year again: the holiday season that compels major retailers to roll out their best deals.
But this year, Target and Walmart, hoping to stave off the effects of inflation and tighter budgets, are taking a different approach. The Washington Post reported the two retailers will start their holiday deals even earlier than usual — in the first week of October.
Target’s “deal days” will begin on Oct. 6, and the retailer will run its price-match program from then until Christmas Eve. Walmart‘s holiday returns program will launch on Oct. 1. As two of the most dominant players in the retail scene, they’ll likely inspire smaller companies to get an early start too.
Though last year saw more holiday shoppers as pandemic restrictions relaxed, inflation‘s impact on everything from food to fuel might make customers less willing to open their wallets. In fact, Deloitte predicts that holiday retail sales will increase by just 4-6% — far short of the 15.1% growth for the same period in 2021.
Retailers are banking on the assumption that consumers will want to spread out their holiday shopping to avoid a giant bill at once, and getting an early start widens that spending window.
Target Corporation is down 38% year over year, while Walmart Inc is down 8% in the same period.