Black Friday always starts early, but this year, the holiday shopping bonanza is kicking off earlier than ever — more than a month sooner than usual.
Major retailers are pushing people to shop earlier than ever this year so shoppers can grab some deals – if they can find them – and avoid disappointments. The holiday shopping season is expected to be chaotic because of shipping and supply chain issues affecting nearly everyone, and stores want to ensure customers get what they need before the holidays.
The problem is twofold: Retailers are struggling with their merchandise getting stuck on container ships transporting the goods because of congestion at ports. There’s also a shortage of workers needed to unload and transport the products from the ships to warehouses and distribution centers.
Despite the issues, consumers are expected to spend 5% more this year — an average of $1,463 per household this season, according to a survey released this week from Deloitte. So, to alleviate some of the issues, retailers have declared holiday shopping season to be already underway – more than two months before Christmas.
Here’s how they’re doing it:
Amazon (AMZN) begun rolling out “Black Friday-worthy deals” in early October to jumpstart the holiday season. The company is currently offering “deep discounts across every category,” according to its website, including fashion, home goods, toys and electronics on a special webpage.
Popular brands, such as Apple (AAPL), KitchenAid and Hasbro (HAS), will be discounted on “select days” in October and November. New deals will also be added every day throughout the next two months.
The electronics retailer is starting its Black Friday deals with a four-day sale that starts on October 19. The usual goods, including laptops and TVs, will be discounted. If customers miss that, Best Buy (BBY) said it’s holding another Black Friday event beginning on November 19 with “thousands of deals.”
It’s also enticing hesitant shoppers with a “Black Friday Price Guarantee,” meaning it will automatically reimburse customers if it drops prices lower before November 18.
The warehouse club recently announced it’s holding twice as many of “savings events” this year compared to last year as a response to an internal survey that showed that its shoppers plan to shop for the holidays earlier this year. Discounts will be applied on home decor, gifts and food.
It’s also holding a “Merry-ville” at five locations not yet announced, where its members can “enjoy an over-the-top holiday experience including an ice-skating rink with special performances, and much more.”
Blink and you missed it: Target already held its “Deal Days” on a weekend earlier this month. Obviously, it’s expected to hold more sales as the holidays approach. Perhaps it has something planned similar to last year’s “Black Friday Now” event, which was in the entire month of November.
For those who can’t wait that long, the retailer also has a price-match guarantee from now until December 24. Target customers can request a price adjustment if the company lowers the price on anything between now and Christmas Eve, which it says takes the “stress and guesswork out of deal hunting.”
America’s largest retailer is bringing back last year’s Black Friday promotion from last year when it offered sales during every week in November.
The “Black Friday Deals for Days” promotion offers what the retailer calls “incredible prices” on mostly everything. The first event begins November 3 and continues the following week. Events later in the month will soon be announced.
This year, Walmart+ members will be able to grab those deals four hours earlier than regular customers, which is a move aimed at making the $98-per-year membership program the “ultimate life hack” for its most loyal customers.
–CNN Business’ Parija Kavilanz contributed to this report.