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Amazon will offer more than a month of Black Friday deals

November 16, 2016 02:52 PM
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Amazon.com Inc. is turning Black Friday into more than a monthlong event.

America’s largest e-retailer, as ranked by the Internet Retailer 2016 Top 500 Guide, today began 35 straight days of Black Friday deals, offering discounts on a number of Amazon devices as well as consumer electronics, toys, home items and other products. Much like it did last year, Amazon is taking a rapid-fire approach, offering a new promotion up to every five minutes. Last year, Amazon began offering Black Friday deals a week before the Friday after Thanksgiving.  

But just because Amazon is spreading out its Black Friday deals doesn’t mean it won’t be making an extra push on Thanksgiving weekend. Amazon says shoppers can expect to see some of the best deals of the season from Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday, the Monday after Thanksgiving, calling that five-day stretch the “Turkey 5.”

“Customers want to shop anywhere, any time, and any way, especially during the five super popular days for online shopping running from Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday,” Amazon vice president Steve Shure says in an announcement about the deals.

Amazon also announced today it is offering Amazon Prime memberships for $79 on Friday, $20 off the usual cost of an annual subscription. The promotion is tied to a new original series on Amazon Video. Prime customers receive such perks as free two-day shipping, streaming video and music, and other benefits.

Macy’s Inc. (No. 6) also is stretching out its Black Friday deals, but not as far as Amazon.

The department store chain announced today that shoppers will be able to take advantage of deals on a limited number of items online this week, from Thursday through Saturday. All of its Black Friday deals will go live on Thanksgiving, with deals on items ranging from apparel to kitchen items available through the following Thursday.

“In addition to all the great Black Friday discounts in store and online, this year we’ll offer even more opportunities to save through Cyber Week— with five full days of online specials, so they will have the freedom to shop all week long at their leisure, scoring big on hundreds of deals,” chief merchandising officer Tim Baxter says.

Sears Holdings Corp. (No. 14) is hoping the lure of free shipping on all web orders with no minimum purchase lures holiday shoppers to its site in the week leading up to Thanksgiving. The retailer is offering the promotion from Wednesday night through Thanksgiving.

Target Corp. (No. 22) announced today that shoppers who want to pick up their online orders in stores can do so starting at 6 p.m. local time on Thanksgiving Day. Stores are going to be a critical part of Target’s strategy when it comes to fulfilling online orders during the holiday season. In 325 of its stores, the retail chain will have in-store employees dedicated to fulfilling online orders. Shoppers will be able to determine who those employees are because they will wear white shirts that say “order pickup” on them to differentiate themselves from other Target workers, who generally wear red shirts and khaki pants.

“More than 90% of our Order Pickups will be ready in an hour, up from 85% last year, thanks to the efforts of our team and enhancements to processes and technologies such as RFID,” Target writes. RFID is short for radio frequency identification technology, which helps retailers track merchandise. “Say our team members are having difficulty locating an Order Pickup item in the store—that’s going to slow down the process and delay your pickup time. With RFID technology, our team members can quickly and accurately find what they’re looking for so we can complete your order and deliver everything you’re looking for without having to make you wait an extra minute.”

Target also has remodeled 80 of its stores to add a designated online order pickup section to make it easier for online shoppers to pick up their purchases at the store.

Other retailers that have rolled out Black Friday deals recently include:

  • Groupon Goods (No. 26) began offering a Black Friday sneak peek sale on Tuesday with up to 80% off select products.
  • Toys R Us Inc. (No. 35) will offer early online access to its Black Friday deals via its Rewards R Us program starting on Sunday. All online shoppers will have access to Black Friday deals at 9 p.m. Eastern on Nov. 23, the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. 
 

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