Santa Claus is probably still curled up in his summer hibernation like the great snowy northern bear I imagine him to be in the warm months, yet the 125 days left before the holidays hit is but a tiny blip in time for retailers. Which means of course it’s time to start rolling out those winter-time deals lest shoppers think there are none to be had. Or will be none to be had? In any case, it’s deal time already, folks.
Both Toys R Us and Walmart greeted the nascent holiday season with announcements yesterday to stir up shoppers’ appetites for Christmas deals, notes CNBC.com.
Toys R Us will expand its price-match guarantee to include online retailers like Amazon.com, Walmart.com, Target.com and more — “Removing any doubt before holiday shopping begins in earnest that customers are receiving the best available prices,” notes the holiday press release.
And Walmart won’t charge the $5 fee it used to levy in the past for shoppers who want to open a layaway account. Customers can begin the laying away of items for the holidays on Sept. 13 this year.
“All year long, but especially during the holidays, our customers need a low price leader,” said the retail giant’s chief merchandising and marketing officer Duncan Mac Naughton in a statement. “This year, we are committed to doing everything we did last year to help Americans save money—plus more. More savings, more layaway items and our commitment that they can give their families a great Christmas on a budget.”
All silliness aside, there are plenty of shoppers who think about their gift and wish lists early on, notes a spokeswoman for the National Retail Federation.
“We do know that 40 percent of holiday shoppers say they begin shopping before Halloween,” she explains. That’s a sizable chunk and retailers know they better do their darndest to seize as much of that shopping pie whenever and however they can.