It was only a matter of time before Walmart and Target revealed their Prime Day plans, and it turns out both mass merchants are aiming to get a jump on Amazon’s two-day event with an early start.
While Amazon Prime Day is officially taking place June 21-22, Target’s Deal Days is returning from June 20-22, adding another day to the event that initially coincided with the e-commerce giant’s extravaganza. And Walmart is taking it one step further, bringing its Deals for Days concept that it held across its November Black Friday promotions last year to June 20-23. Last year, Walmart competed with Prime Day via the Big Save event held from Oct. 11-15.
Prime Day has proven to be the tide that raises all boats now that more retailers are seeking to capitalize on the event in various ways. Retail sales jumped 10.6 percent year over year in October 2020, according to the National Retail Federation (NRF), outpacing the 8.3 percent boost retail experienced across the November and December holiday months. Now, the race is on not just to capture summer and even early back-to-school sales, and but also boost balance sheets for essential retailers that benefited in last year’s Q2 from being able to keep their doors open during widespread Covid-19 store closures.
This year, Target is bringing its Deal Days to all shopping categories, including food and beverage, according to Christina Hennington, executive vice president and chief growth officer for the Minneapolis-based retailer.
The big-box chain is making a point to highlight its successful same-day fulfillment capabilities. Customers can browse the discounted items and purchase them online, then pick them up in their nearest Target store with options like its BOPIS “Order Pickup” service and its curbside “Drive Up” service.
In-store pickup accounts for more than 30 percent of digital sales at Target, the company says. Roughly 95 percent of Target’s total sales across channels are fulfilled from its stores.
As part of the three-day shopping spree, discounts will be included on “hundreds of thousands” of Target.com products, alongside the event’s limited-time deals across all categories, such as electronics, home, essentials, toys, beauty and food and beverage.
Ahead of the event, Target also is incentivizing consumers to purchase digital gift cards online. The retailer is offering the gift card with a 5 percent discount from June 16-19.
The company even took what could be interpreted as a thinly veiled shot at Amazon Prime’s $119 per year subscription, emphasizing that Deal Days is “designed for everyone, no membership fee required.”
Target hasn’t revealed whether it will offer early access deals, but last year’s promotions indicate that it likely will. For Deal Days 2020, Target offered specials starting as early as Oct. 5.
Walmart’s Deals for Days event includes online-only offers, along with in-store-only rollbacks. Discounts will be offered across categories like electronics, toys, home, fashion and beauty.
Walmart provided a sneak peek into some deals shoppers can expect from the event. These include the iHome Nova Auto Empty Mopping Robot, the Hisense 40-inch Class FHD Roku Smart LED TV, the Little Tikes Tobi Robot Smartwatch, the Prepaid Straight Talk A32 5G Phone and HP 11.6-inch Chromebook 4GB Ram.
The retailer did not reveal whether its Walmart+ loyalty program will play a part in any deals. The $98-a-year program enables shoppers to get free shipping on next-day and two-day delivery.
Just ahead of Deals for Days, Walmart introduced a new application called Me@Walmart that could help associates improve scheduling and communication during the busy stretch. The app lets associates view their shifts up to two weeks in advance, check on their upcoming paid time off and request changes to their schedule, if needed. Using geofencing technology, associates can clock in once they arrive at their store. The app has “push-to-talk” capabilities enabling associates to connect with one another so they can communicate in real time, stay nimble and react to customers’ needs.
Amazon introduces early savings on Calvin Klein, Tommy Hilfiger
As brick-and-mortar retail’s “big two” line up their opposing offerings for this month’s event, Amazon has offered details into its own early releases starting Monday, revealing that shoppers can save 20 percent on Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger apparel, and also save on select private-label men’s and women’s activewear brands.
Other exclusive pre-Prime Day sales include select Amazon Ring devices and Wi-Fi upgrades, kitchen and bathroom fixtures, pet items, toys, vacuums, air purifiers, household essentials, camping equipment, candy and gum among other products.
Amazon is now offering a $10 credit to use on Prime Day to members who spend $10 on products from select small businesses selling on its third-party marketplace. More than 300,000 sellers are eligible for this “Spend $10, Get $10” promotion—more than twice as many as last year. The promotion aims to connect customers with small businesses and is funded by a new $100 million investment from Amazon to help small business selling partners succeed and grow.
Through Prime Day, U.S. Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Card and Amazon Prime Store Card holders with an eligible Prime membership will earn 10 percent back in rewards on select purchases from small businesses. For the entire month of June, Prime members get a $150 Amazon Gift Card instantly upon approval for the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Card.