US retailers Walmart and Target are starting sales early to lure back shoppers

Walmart and Target plan to start offering deals and price match offers earlier this year to keep up with Americans beset by rising inflation and looking for ways to ease the potential sting of holiday shopping.

Experts believe inflation hovering near four-decade highs could prompt families to start shopping earlier in hopes of avoiding even higher prices later.

The holiday sales strategies announced Thursday come amid expected slower holiday sales growth year-over-year.

AlixPartners, the global consulting firm, forecasts holiday sales to grow between 4 percent and 7 percent — well below last year’s 16 percent growth.

The current inflation rate of 8.3 percent means that retailers would see a drop in real sales.

Walmart, the country’s largest retailer, is also extending the return window by more than a month.

Gift returns will now be accepted between Oct. 1 and Jan. 31, compared to last year’s Nov. 1-Jan. 24 return window, the company said.

According to Tom Ward, the company’s chief e-commerce officer, Walmart, based in Bentonville, Arkansas, is offering a broader range of items this year with more new brands and more Walmart exclusives than a year ago.

The company is also deepening discounts on items like toys, housewares, electronics, and beauty.

Word is that more than half of the items on Walmart’s list of anticipated hot Christmas toys are under $50 — many under $25 — and nearly all of them are available to buy or pre-order now

Minneapolis-based Target said it will offer vacation deals between Oct. 6 and Oct. 8, a few days earlier than a year ago.

It will start price matching in the same period – also a few days earlier.

Target has one of the most generous price match offers in retail, countering offers from more than two dozen other stores.

This also applies to purchases made on

Target plans to hire up to 100,000 seasonal workers in its stores and distribution centers, as it did a year ago.

Walmart is taking a more cautious hiring approach this year, saying this week it would hire 40,000 US workers, most of them seasonal workers.

Last year, Walmart said it would hire about 150,000 new U.S. store workers — most of them full-time permanent positions — in addition to 20,000 permanent sales and warehouse workers as the Covid pandemic disrupted supply chains. US retailers Walmart and Target are starting sales early to lure back shoppers

Fry Electronics Team

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