Amazon AMZN-Q, Walmart WMT-N, Target TGT-N and other large retailers launched U.S. sales on Monday and Tuesday, dangling discounts on narrow selections of merchandise more than six weeks before Black Friday, one of the biggest shopping days of the year.
Total sales of merchandise between November and January is expected to rise by 3.5 per cent to 4.6 per cent, reaching $1.54-trillion to $1.56-trillion, according to Deloitte.
In recent years, retailers like Amazon and Walmart have sought to boost their bottom lines and spread out demand by hosting holiday shopping events online in early October.
With its Prime Big Deal Days, which started on Tuesday, Amazon invited shoppers to sign up for pop-up deals and sales on limited-quantity items including air fryers, sparkling water makers and men’s watches.
Neil Saunders, managing director at GlobalData, said retailers’ use of flash sales and invite-only deals is an attempt to recreate the momentum seen in “door buster deals” that encouraged shoppers to line up outside stores to make impulse purchases on Black Fridays of prior years.
Inflation remains a top concern for holiday shoppers, according to a KPMG survey, leading some to seek out deals on possible gifts.
KPMG Consumer and Retail National Sector Leader Matt Kramer said shoppers have “the savviness” to research more discounts and coupons before purchasing.
Some shoppers in search of bargains may sit out the October shopping events, waiting to buy big-ticket items like tablets, laptops and televisions until Black Friday, the day after U.S. Thanksgiving, and Cyber Monday, the Monday after Thanksgiving.
Walmart, which revealed discounts for its four-day Holiday Kickoff event at midday on Monday, posted deals on Dyson vacuums, HP laptops and Apple products, much like Amazon and Target.
Target launched seven days worth of deals during the first week of October with hopes that shoppers would opt for its discounts on Lego toy sets, Apple Watches and home goods. The Target Circle event started nearly a week earlier than its October sales event in 2022.