For some, it may still feel too early to listen to Christmas music, but that doesn’t mean it’s too soon to start shopping for holiday gifts — at least that’s what major retailers want you to think.
Thanks to record-high inflation this year, retailers are facing challenges here in Q4. The year’s end is typically the most profitable time of the year for many companies. But, with the prices of goods rising year-over-year across the board, shoppers may not be able to buy as much as they did in the past.
To compensate, major retailers are being more aggressive with their holiday promotions. In fact, Target (TGT) already has deals underway, and Walmart (WMT) will kick things off on Oct. 10, followed by Amazon (AMZN) on Oct. 11.
For reference, in 2019, Target’s holiday deals started on Nov. 8, Walmart’s began on Oct. 25 and Amazon’s kicked off on Nov. 1.
The main idea behind retailers running holiday promotions is to increase their share-of-wallet with the consumer. In other words, Walmart wants to offer incredible deals so that shoppers perform the majority of their shopping at Walmart, as opposed to Amazon or Target. Offering discounts is profitable, provided it gets people in the door and buying more products.
Industry execs have stated that capturing wallet share may prove particularly challenging this year, as inflation and a slowing macroeconomic environment could prompt some consumers — especially lower and middle-income buyers — to shorten their shopping lists. In fact, 2-in-5 shoppers state they will alter their shopping habits this year.
All that said, people are still going to be shopping for gifts, and the companies that start running promotions earlier aim to capitalize on that demand.
Wrapping Up (Presents)
For consumers looking to stock up on holiday gifts, this comes as welcomed news.
In 2021, retailers were concerned with how the holiday season would play out, given the questionable state of the post-COVID economy. They took an aggressive stance when it came to discounting products, in hopes of boosting sales. The result was one of the strongest holiday shopping seasons to date.
Thanks to the success of last year’s strategy, retailers are doubling down. They’re offering more discounts for a longer period of time.
There’s no doubt that 2022 has been a tough year for the consumer, but this bit of good news could be the beginning of a festive holiday shopping season.
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