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Target Takes on Amazon Prime Day With its Own 48-Hour Event

With Amazon Prime Day seemingly kicking off the holiday season on Oct. 13-14, big-box rival Target is making sure it’s not left out of the party.

Target on Tuesday said it’s bringing back Deal Days on Oct. 13-14, coinciding with Amazon’s big (and delayed) bargain-hunting event. For this year, the mass discounter said it will feature nearly one million more deals than last year, offer month-long Black Friday prices through November, and match prices to entice consumers to shop.

“This year, in a holiday season unlike any other, we know it’s more important than ever for our guests to get great deals in a convenient and safe shopping environment,” said Christina Hennington, Target’s executive vice president and chief merchandising officer. “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.”

Target’s Deal Days will include digital deals on hundreds of thousands of items, more than double last year, it said. “Guests can sign up for the free, easy-to-use Target Circle loyalty program to access all the best deals, and for the first time, all deals will span the entire two-day event, giving guests more time to shop deep discounts across electronics, home, essentials, toys, beauty and more,” Target said. Almost all deals are available through Target’s contactless Drive Up and Order Pickup, with more deals available for same-day delivery—as soon as one hour—through Shipt. And like Amazon offering some special deals with select vendors, Target is offering its own specials beginning as early as Oct. 5.

Black Friday pricing on home goods and apparel and accessories and more will run all through November, both in stores and online. The retailer also will offer weeklong discounts and digital deals every day, beginning Nov. 1. These deals are on top of Target’s everyday prices, and shoppers can receive another 5 percent off using the Target RedCard,” a card program that gives users either a debit or credit option.

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Furthermore, the discounter’s price match program typically is good for 14 days, but Target is extending it to nearly another six weeks, running from Nov. 1 through Dec. 24. Guests can request a price adjustment for any item advertised as a “Black Friday deal” if it is offered for a lower price at Target or Target.com. “This offers even more assurance that guests can count on Target’s greatest deal, regardless of when they shop,” it said.

Target’s major discount competitor Walmart is pushing deals of its own. Dubbed “Big Save,” Black Friday-like savings on thousands of items start on Oct. 11 at 7 p.m. ET through Oct. 15. Free two-day shipping will be available on orders over $35 for eligible items, while some will be eligible for free next-day delivery or for in-store pickup.

Walmart’s deals are available on select products either from Walmart or from marketplace sellers. Among some of the deals in fashion are a pair of Hunter women’s original tall rain boots, discounted $20 to $59.99 from $79.99, as well as a Scoop women’s printed maxi shirt dress, now $39.99 from $59.00.

Retailers are starting the Holiday 2020 selling season early, in part to ensure sufficient time for the on-time delivery. But the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC) is also warning consumers that shopping in crowded places could be risky in the week or two before and after Thanksgiving. The CDC is also pushing for shoppers to rely more on online shopping to curtail the risk of contracting Covid-19 in what traditionally are bustling malls and crowded stores.

National Retail Federation (NRF), a national trade group advocating for retailers, launched a new education program called “New Holiday Traditions,” aimed at encouraging consumers to shop earlier to avoid long lines and the disappointment that comes with shipping delays.

“This is going to be a historic holiday season and while some memorable traditions may change, the tradition of retailers supporting their customers and their communities is stronger than ever. That is why we encourage consumers to adopt two new traditions this year—shop safe and shop early—so we can all celebrate a happy and healthy holiday,” said Matthew Shay, NRF president and CEO.

Meanwhile, Fintech unicorn PingPong Payments notes that cross-border merchants can capitalize on the impending e-commerce boom that comes with mega shopping events like Amazon Prime Day, even if it’s taking place in October versus its usually appearance in July.

“This will be a make or break event for some Amazon sellers,” said Ning Wang, co-founder and chief business officer at the global payments firm.” This delayed Prime Day gives merchants a window of opportunity to catapult into the lead in the run up to the festive season, with the first major online sales event post-Covid. A huge 82 percent of U.S. households have a Prime membership, which gives sellers a unique opportunity to tap into a dedicated 150 million strong, and counting, network of shoppers who are committed to the platform—a dream scenario for any e-tailer.”

Amazon’s sales extravaganza last year surpassed sales of more than $7 billion for Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined, PingPong noted. On a post-pandemic basis, the online marketplace has become the new virtual mall, and could see 1.1 million sellers join Amazon by the end of the year.