How Amazon and Target Are Approaching the Holiday Selling Season

Retailers share details on discount events, season-long savings and curated assortments
Lynn Petrak, Progressive Grocer
Amazon gift in warehouse
Amazon announced that its Amazon’s Prime Big Deal Days will kick off the holiday buying season on Oct. 10 and 11.

Two of the nation’s largest retailers are seeking to strike the right balance between value and excitement for the upcoming holiday season. Target and Amazon recently shared holiday previews that offer inflation-wary consumers savings while also showcasing products meant to be indulged in and enjoyed.

Amazon released details this week about its upcoming Prime Big Deal Days, running Oct. 10 and 11. By inserting the words “big deal” between the traditional Prime Day verbiage, the retail company is emphasizing value. According to Amazon, new deals will drop as often as every five minutes during the two-day shopping event, with discounts for Prime members on items including toys, Amazon devices, apparel and home décor. As the holiday season approaches, Amazon is also touting its online Holiday Shop and curated picks from influencers like Olivia Culpo and podcasters Claudia and Margo Oshry.

[Read more: "5 Holiday Trends to Watch"]

“We’re giving our Prime members yet another way to save, with deals on some of the most wanted gifts of the season,” explained Jamil Ghani, VP of Amazon Prime. “Members can shop deals across categories like fashion, home, and toys that include some of our most popular items during Prime Big Deal Days. They can also take advantage of other exciting Prime member benefits, like shopping favorite brands beyond Amazon.com with Buy with Prime and accessing doorbuster deals with invite-only deals.”

It’s also beginning to look a lot like the holiday season at Target, which unveiled some of its plans for the weeks and months ahead. The retailer reports that it is offering thousands of gifts under $25 and merchandising seasonal food and beverage items starting at $2.

While Target is rolling out more than 10,000 new items in time for the holidays – including products from partners Kendra Scott, Disney, Apple and Ulta Beauty – the company is simultaneously promoting a plethora of deals. For example, customers can score savings during Target Circle Week, set for Oct. 1-7 this year. Additionally, Target is bringing back its Deal of the Day program with discounts for Target Circle members from Oct 1 through Dec. 24.  

"This is a time the Target team shines, and we're ready to deliver affordability, inspiration and convenience to help our guests celebrate holiday traditions with loved ones," declared Christina Hennington, Target’s chief growth officer. "We'll have great deals every day, on top of our everyday low prices. And between our only-at-Target exclusives, robust assortment of owned and national brands, new partnerships, and industry-leading fulfillment services, Target is making it easier than ever for our guests to embrace the joy of the season."  

As it ramps up for the holidays, Target is also seeking to bolster its employee ranks. The company intends to hire nearly 100,000 seasonal team members to help customers in store, provide same-day fulfillment services and sort and ship orders, among other tasks. 

Seattle-based Amazon is No. 2 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2023 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America. Minneapolis-based Target Corp. is No. 6 on The PG 100, with nearly 2,000 locations. Both companies are included on PG's Retailers of the Century list. 

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