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Major Retailers Go Deep on Summer Deals

Amazon, Walmart, Target reveal details of midsummer savings events
Lynn Petrak, Progressive Grocer
Walmart Discount Days
Walmart is holding its largest-ever sales event in July, the same month as competitors' savings days.

If summer kicked off with a flurry of price reductions rolled out by grocers, the midpoint of the season is defined by big players’ deal days. Amazon, Walmart and Target recently revealed their respective savings events, aimed at helping customers save money on a wide range of offerings.

The events also position the behemoth merchants as go-to sources in a crowded field. “It’s a respective and collective credit to their promotional power combined with their pricing power, especially with consumers carrying a record amount of credit card debt and with 30% food inflation stacked over the last two years,” Burt P. Flickinger III, managing director of New York-based Strategic Resource Group, told Progressive Grocer.

RELATED: 'Moderation' Is the Word for Prices, Sales in May

The timing is also notable, ahead of the fall election season and typical third- and fourth-quarter market wariness. “This is a way for consumers who will be increasingly cash- and credit-constrained to spend more while they still have a bit of credit available on revolving-interest credit cards and some cash, before they have to pay summer utility bills, with utility prices up as much as 20% to 30% in some districts,” Flickinger added.

For its part, Amazon made a splash this week by sharing the dates of its summertime Prime Days. Set for July 16-17, the event may surpass last summer’s sale, which was the company’s biggest Prime Day event in its history. This year, shoppers can score deep discounts on a plethora of products, including back-to-school essentials available for up to 40% off regular prices.

According to the e-commerce giant, new deals will drop as often as every five minutes during select periods on those days. Grocery discounts are part of the promotion, as Prime members can get coupons for $15 off purchases of $75 or more when shopping at Amazon Fresh physical stores. Amazon is also offering three months of its new grocery subscription to Prime members and those with a registered EBT card who have not previously signed up for Prime. 

“Prime Day is a celebration of the value we bring to members all year long, and features millions of deals across more than 35 product categories as well as discounts on Amazon devices, quality entertainment, groceries, travel, and more during the event,” asserted Jamil Ghani, VP of Amazon Prime. “In fact, over the course of last year, Amazon customers saved nearly $24 billion from deals and coupons — with Prime members enjoying the vast majority of those savings — including over $2.5 billion during Prime Day 2023.”

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Walmart had competitive timing on its summer promotion, revealing on June 24 the impending launch of its largest-ever savings event. The Walmart Deals event, running from July 8 at 5 p.m. through July 11 at 11:59 p.m., will feature thousands of discounts on popular items ranging from smart televisions to Adirondack chairs to school supplies. Customers can shop in store and online and take advantage of a full suite of pickup and delivery options. 

‘Tis the season for savings at Target, too, as that retailer strives for its share of shopper dollars. The mass merchant is bringing back Target Circle Week, running July 7-13 with savings of up to 50% off on thousands of products. Members of the Target Circle program can find lower prices on everyday items and school and college collections. Popular summertime foods and beverages are on sale as well, with offers like buy-one-get-one-50%-off deals on select ice creams, chilled juices, chilled coffee, fresh berries and other products. 

"Target Circle is the best way for guests to save time and money every time they shop," said Cara Sylvester, EVP and chief guest experience officer. "And since Target Circle is free to join, Target Circle Week gives our guests more deals — at no cost — so you can stock up on everything from backyard cookout essentials to back-to-school supplies. We believe saving should be simple and shopping should be fun, and our new Target Circle delivers just that, with flexible options and a range of benefits to meet every shopper's needs."

Seattle-based Amazon is No. 2 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2024 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America. Amazon's Austin, Texas-based Whole Foods division has more than 500 stores in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom. Each week, about 240 million customers and members visit Walmart’s approximately 10,500 stores and numerous e-commerce websites in 19 countries; the Bentonville, Ark.-based is No. 1 on the PG 100. Minneapolis-based Target Corp. is No. 7 on The PG 100, with nearly 2,000 locations. 

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