- One day after Amazon announced its Prime Day event for October 13-14, Target unveiled its own sales event for the same period.
- The retailer framed the sale event as the beginning of its holiday shopping season. "Target Deal Days" have historically been Target's answer to Prime Day, which in years past took place in July.
- The retailer also announced in a press release that there would be "Black Friday pricing" throughout November as well as an extended price match guarantee. This year, Target said there would be close to 1 million more deals than in 2019.
An uncertain holiday period is starting to take shape as major retailers lay out their plans for a period defined by a pandemic.
This year, Amazon delayed Prime Day indefinitely as it focused its operations around essential goods and simply meeting demand after consumers responded to store closures and continued coronavirus concerns with a massive wave of online shopping.
On Monday, Amazon finally formally announced the dates for Prime Day 2020, which is set for Oct. 13 and 14. As in the past, Target, and no doubt other retailers, will be piggybacking with their own sale events as consumers take to the internet looking for deals.
In its announcement, Target said it would feature deals on "hundreds of thousands of items" online, more than double last year, all of which will span the duration of the sale event. The retailer said it would have "deep discounts" on electronics, home goods, essentials, toys and beauty products, among others.
And so Prime Day and its competitive iterations are becoming, potentially, a major sale event for holiday shopping. A large shift to online buying for the holidays likely would have happened regardless. Many analysts, including at AlixPartners and Deloitte, have predicted a surge in online holiday buying this year that follows massive online growth in 2020. Well before Amazon's Prime day announcement, AlixPartners for the first time added the month of October to its holiday sales estimate for the year.
The October sales events could potentially reduce reliance on Black Friday. That event, which traditionally gives rise to long lines and packed stores, is a tricky one for brick-and-mortar retailers to navigate amid the continued spread of COVID-19. Walmart and Target have both opted to close for Thanksgiving Day for the first time in years while signaling that they would modify Black Friday.
What exactly Black Friday will look like in stores at the largest retailers still isn't clear. But Target's move to extend Black Friday discounting through November seems tailored to help consumers manage their holiday shopping without packing into crowded stores.
As Target chief merchant Christina Hennington said in the release, "By kicking off our holiday deals earlier than ever, offering Black Friday pricing throughout the full month of November and extending our Price Match Guarantee, we're letting guests know they don't need to wait or face the crowds to get the best deals, all with no membership fees required."