Target’s Holiday Plan: Fewer Sales, More Focus On Everyday Low Prices

Image courtesy of Mike Mozart

From “doorbusters” to “advance deals” to hourly specials all through Black Friday weekend (not to mention Cyber Monday), the holiday shopping season is a continuous barrage of retail promotions varying in quality and value. In an attempt to rein things in, Target says it plans to offer fewer sales this holiday and hope that customers will be won over by everyday lower prices.

Fewer Sales

While Target’s efforts to bring customers back into stores through remodels and streamlined displays has been successful, the retailer has previously cautioned that customers just aren’t spending as much on their trips to the big box store.

One way to increase the cost of a customers’ bill is to cut down on promotions. The Minneapolis Star Tribune reports that’s just what Target is planning to do this fall and winter after sales dropped 1.3% during the 2016 holiday season.

Instead of having multiple — sometimes confusing — sales each week like in previous years, Target chief merchandising officer Mark Tritton tells The Tribune that the retailer will instead focus on just a few promotions, with the hope that they make a bigger impact on shoppers.

“We will have meaningful promotions,” Tritton said, noting that these deals will likely be timed to Cyber Monday and Black Friday.

One promotion you won’t be seeing, however, is Target’s 10 Days of Deals — a sale the company has hosted the past two years leading up to Black Friday.

Business As Usual

With Target turning its focus away from holiday-themed sales, the company plans to double down on its everyday merchandise.

For instance, Target will highlight several of its new private-label brands and new product lines in November, The Tribune reports.

Additionally, in lieu of mega-holiday sales, Target says it will continue to implement its low pricing approach by dropping the cost of thousands of products.

To highlight these items, the company will assemble 1,700 products — mostly under $15 — to be displayed on 10 standalone gift kiosks throughout stores.

Fewer Holiday Signs

For years, Consumerist readers have pointed to retailers continually putting out holiday products well in advance — sometimes months and months — of holidays.

Target says it will cut down on the holiday creep this year after customers expressed their displeasure with Christmas signs and decorations overshadowing Thanksgiving.

The Tribune reports that instead of inundating customers with Christmas and holiday messaging in November, the company will wait until early Dec. to showcase the bulk of its holiday displays.

Upping Online Sales

Although Target has shown time and again that its focus is on physical stores when it comes to attracting customers, that doesn’t mean the company is bypassing online traffic completely.

The Tribune reports that Target will increase its ship-from-store program — where customers’ online purchases are shipped directly from stores to their homes — to 300 additional locations. The program is intended to get customers’ their products more quickly, with most arriving within two days.

It will also offer free online shipping on orders placed Nov. 1 through Christmas.

Additionally, the company will offer a new online gifting option this year. Dubbed GiftNow, customers can purchase a product online for a friend, hit the GiftNow button, and the recipient will receive a customized digital box containing the gift.

Recipients can choose to accept the gift, or exchange it right then and there online. Executives tell The Tribune that the option is the “perfect solution” for picky friends and family members, while giving gifters the peace of mind that their presents will arrive in time.


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