Tina Tyler, Target’s chief stores officer, said the big-box chain has structured its deals this way to give shoppers a reason to keep coming back to the store.
“It’s about getting more trips with the guest, not spreading the one trip out,” Tyler said.
The retailer will continue to offer doorbuster-style deals on Black Friday, including a 43-inch Element LED TV for $169.99 and a free $150 gift card when you buy an iPad Air 2. For every shopper who spends $75 on Black Friday, the retailer will offer a 20-percent-off coupon that can be used on a purchase made between Dec. 4 and 13.
Target will kick off its in-store deals at 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving, the same time it opened its doors last year. All of its Black Friday deals will be available online beginning “early Thanksgiving morning.” Tyler said the decision to open at 6 p.m. was based on the company’s assessment of what shoppers want from them and what it means for their business.
“6 p.m. continues to be the right opening time for us. And based on the strong response we saw from our guests last year, we’re expecting to see the same this year,” Tyler said.
Macy’s and Sears have announced that they also plan to kick off their in-store sales at 6 p.m. this year.
Target said previously that it would offer free shipping and returns on all purchases this holiday season. The company says that strategy, which it tried for the first time last year, was helpful in driving online traffic and purchases. The big-box chain also has said that in some cities it will offer shoppers curbside pickup at their stores of orders placed online.
Target is looking to aggressively grow its online sales, which accounted for a mere 2.7 percent of the retailer’s total sales in the most recent quarter.
Although some surveys have found that shoppers plan to spend more this holiday season than they did last year, Target chief executive Brian Cornell has said that he still expects to see a cautious consumer this holiday season.
“We’ve seen today’s consumer saving a lot more money,” Cornell said in an interview last month. “They’re paying down credit card balances. They’re treating their family occasionally to trips to their favorite restaurant. But, overall, you’re just seeing a very conservative consumer environment. I don’t expect that to change dramatically during the holiday season. So we’re really focused on the things we can control.”
Meanwhile, some chains are pulling back from the Black Thursday or Black Friday fray. Staples announced that it would not open on Thanksgiving this year, something it has tried in previous years. And outdoor retailer REI has said that it will close on Black Friday and instead urged customers to spend the day out in nature.
Target said it would offer one-day-early access to some of its Black Friday deals on Monday, including 25 percent off all Beats wireless headphones and 40 percent off “STEM toys,” or those that nurture science, technology, engineering and math skills.
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