Retailers Offer Faster Delivery, Earlier Deals to Cope With Shorter Holiday Season

With Thanksgiving a week later than usual, stores scramble to make up sales

Retailers Offer Faster Delivery, Earlier Deals to Cope With Shorter Holiday Season
By Bonnie Stiernberg / November 7, 2019 11:02 am

Thanksgiving is late this year, falling on Nov. 28 — a week later than last year’s Nov. 22 — meaning less time for holiday shopping. And as Reuters points out, this means retailers are scrambling to come up with solutions for missing out on six days of sales, offering early deals and faster delivery.

The last holiday season that this short was in 2013. It’s a time that most retailers rely on to make a good chunk of their annual revenue — November and December frequently account for as much as 40 percent of their annual sales.

“It’s a very compressed holiday season…every day counts,” Target Corp’s CEO Brian Cornell said. To make up for the short season, Target is offering a “Drive Up” service which allows shoppers to place their order on the Target app and then have their items brought out to their car. Most of the orders will be available for pickup within an hour of them being placed on the app, and Target promises they’ll be brought out within two minutes of a customer’s arrival.

“A shorter holiday season puts more importance on each shopping day,” Steve Sadove, senior adviser for Mastercard, told Reuters. Despite the short season, Mastercard estimates that this year’s holiday sales will grow 3.1 percent from last year’s.

Many retailers like Amazon, Kohls and Target have already started offering Black Friday deals in an effort to jump-start sales. “Retailers will need to plant a sense of urgency early-on, then reinforce it after Thanksgiving, when the rubber meets the road,” Carol Spieckerman, president at consultancy Spieckerman Retail, said.

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