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Target, Walmart Battle for Share of Holiday Sales

Both retailers accommodate consumers’ desire to shop early with deals, flexible options
Marian Zboraj, Progressive Grocer
target holiday aisle
Target will introduce holiday savings earlier than ever this year, starting with the biggest Target Deal Days event yet.

Two big-box retailers have released their holiday strategies, which include kicking off savings earlier than ever to consumers on a tight budget this season.

Providing customers with its earliest-ever access to deals, Target Corp.savings start Oct. 6-8 with the return of Target Deal Days. Hundreds of thousands of deals will be available online and in stores during the biggest Target Deal Days event yet — no membership fee required to shop. Targets Holiday Price Match Guarantee will also extend longer than ever: Oct. 6-Dec. 24. That means guests can choose to shop early with confidence, knowing that if the price goes lower at Target later in the season, the retailer will price match it. In addition, Targets buy-now, pay-later options give guests flexibility to pay at their own pace.

The holidays are a treasured time when our guests come together with family and friends to celebrate the joy of the season, and were here to make that as easy as possible for them to enjoy, said Christina Hennington, EVP and chief growth officer at Target. Thats why we're rolling out deals earlier than ever and ensuring our team is ready to help our guests shop when and how they want. Throughout the season, guests will discover new and differentiated items for gifting and gathering, including only-at-Target owned brands and must-have national brands, and they can expect great deals and everyday low prices at every turn for an unmatched holiday shopping experience.

Starting mid-October, FAO Schwarz toys will be available exclusively at Target stores and, thanks to a multiyear agreement with the iconic toy brand. For holiday gatherings, consumers will also find new festive food and beverage items and entertaining options.

To help handle increased holiday traffic, Target is looking to hire 100,000 seasonal team members this year (similar to last year) for stores and supply chain facilities nationwide. 

Meanwhile, the largest U.S. retailer, Walmart Inc., plans to bring on 40,000 associates to handle holiday sales as it also makes significant price investments in key categories and offers thousands more rollbacks this season to provide even deeper savings.

Walmart expanded its assortment of holiday gifts this year with more items, more new brands and more Walmart exclusives. This includes increasing its toy assortment with 1,400 new items.  

Consumers can take their holiday shopping online and take advantage of the new upgrades to Walmart’s website and app, which have been streamlined to provide faster, more engaging and personalized experience for its customers. Shoppers looking for online deals right now can visit Walmart’s recently added Flash Picks, which includes limited-time only deals available on

The retail giant has also introduced new and expanded “no concerns” returns options this holiday season. Starting in October, Walmart customers and Walmart+ members can take advantage of new returns options, including:

  • Holiday Guarantee: Walmart customers won’t have to worry about short return windows with the newly extended holiday return policy for purchases, including electronics and Marketplace items. Eligible purchases made on or after Oct. 1 can be returned through Jan. 31, 2023.
  • Curbside Returns: Curbside returns allow customers to return items from the comfort of their vehicles.
  • Return Pickup from Home for Walmart+ members: During the busiest time of year, Walmart will offer Walmart+ members in select stores the option of returns picked up right from their doorstep. When initiating an eligible return on the app, Walmart+ members will be able to schedule a return. Members won’t need to provide a box or a label – they’ll simply hand off the return to a delivery driver and Walmart will handle the rest.

Curbside returns and Return Pickup from Home options will launch in select stores the first week of October and continue to expand to more stores in the coming months.

“Saving our customers time and money is in our DNA, and I am proud of how we’ve innovated to offer exactly what our customers need this holiday – deeper savings across a broader assortment of gifts, with a seamless omnichannel shopping experience,” said Tom Ward, EVP and chief e-commerce officer, Walmart U.S.

Minneapolis-based Target Corp. is No. 6 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2022 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America, with nearly 2,000 locations. Walmart has more than 10,500 stores and numerous e-commerce websites under 46 banners in 24 countries. Bentonville, Ark.-based Walmart U.S. is No. 1 on The PG 100.

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