NEW YORK (AP) — Target says customers want the store to pause the “Christmas creep.” It says it wants to be more in tune with customers’ mindset, so it plans to ease in holiday promotions this year while better recognizing Thanksgiving.
The retailer’s holiday plans also include a new e-gift service, adding kiosks that focus on impulse presents mainly under $15, and launching a wallet feature to its app. It’s also offering more weekend deals since shoppers do more holiday buying then.
While all retailers need to worry about online growth and the expansion of Amazon, Target is spending $7 billion over three years to remodel old stores, open small ones in cities and college towns, and offer faster delivery for online orders. It’s also been refreshing its store brands and trying to be more convenient to shoppers. Eight of Target’s new brands will be available for the first time this holiday season.
The company is expanding its marketing focus and increasing its holiday marketing budget compared to a year ago.
For November, Target will keep Thanksgiving signs and displays at the entrances, and its marketing will play up Thanksgiving meal preparation and entertaining for shoppers.
“They want us to pause and be really intentional and recognize Thanksgiving,” said Rick Gomez, Target’s chief marketing officer. “What they don’t want us to do is go right into Christmas. So we are going to respect that.”
As it eases into the later holidays, the company isn’t repeating the “Ten Days of Deals” strategy, which it had for two seasons in a row. Instead, it’s increasing weekend deals starting Nov. 11. Gomez says customers are shopping on the weekend twice as much as they are during weekdays.