Forget about Black Friday. Holiday shoppers are already searching for the best deals.
Half of this year’s gift givers say they plan to start shopping by the end of October, according to a Bankrate survey. That’s why Target rolled outThis week, prices drop by up to 50%. It was just days before Amazon’s much-anticipated ,
Bert Flickinger, managing director of retail consulting firm Strategic Resource Group, said, “Retailers certainly have an arms race to reach shoppers, while a buyer still has his money to spend on holiday items. It happens.”
According to a Bankrate survey, nearly 40% of holiday shoppers say inflation will affect their purchases, with many preferring to buy fewer gifts and discounts.
Flickinger said consumers will find the best deals on clothing, consumer electronics, TVs, consumer audio and books.
For some small business owners like Alan Hurickian, the outlook for the holiday is bleak. His family has owned Spears TVs for more than 30 years, but he says big box retailers make it hard to get the popular TVs for his shop, and he can’t match their low prices.
“If I buy a Samsung TV, let’s say a week later, Amazon or Best Buy is selling it for $399,” Hurricane said. “So I’ve lost $100. So it doesn’t make any sense.”
Large retailers are also increasing staff. Amazon announced that it is hiring 150,000 employees ahead of the holiday rush. Walmart has hired 40,000 employees as it is already tackling more permanent positions this year — a trend that is expected to continue.
“Companies still need a lot of extra help during the holidays,” said Andrew Challenger, senior vice president of Challenger, Gray & Christmas, a relocation and career transitioning firm. “But in this scenario, some companies are asking people to stay.”