Target Just Revealed its Answer to Amazon Prime Day — But Is it Enough to Compete?

Target Corp. is stepping on the gas in a bid to lure in more shoppers amid a challenging macroeconomic climate.

The Minneapolis-based big box retailer announced today its plans for the holiday season — chief among them is the return of its Target Deal Days on Oct. 13 and 14, which happens to coincide with Amazon’s Prime Day 2020, as well as Black Friday pricing all November long.

Target, which has found itself in a rare class of retailers actually benefiting from the coronavirus pandemic, said it will offer nearly 1 million more deals this holiday season than it did last year as well as extend its Price Match Guarantee.

“This year, in a holiday season unlike any other, we know it’s more important than ever for our guests to get great deals in a convenient and safe shopping environment,” said Christina Hennington, Target’s EVP and chief merchandising officer. “By kicking off our holiday deals earlier than ever, offering Black Friday pricing throughout the full month of November and extending our Price Match Guarantee, we’re letting guests know they don’t need to wait or face the crowds to get the best deals, all with no membership fees required.” (Target, Walmart, Kohl’s and a bevy of other big retail names have opted to close their stores on Thanksgiving Day to avoid the usual crush of people on the hunt for great deals.)

The retailer, which notably logged a 195% increase in digital sales during the second quarter, has managed to attract coronavirus-panicked shoppers, who have been stocking up on household essentials and other items, by doubling down on several of its omnichannel initiatives in recent months.

Target said in August that its same-day fulfillment offerings expanded 273% in the second quarter and its fastest growth was seen in the Drive Up service, which surged more than 700%, as consumers across the country sought curbside pickup in hopes of avoiding the highly-contagious coronavirus. Year-over-year sales fulfilled by its Shipt service also increased upwards of 350%, while in-store pickup sales rose 60%.

While Order Pickup has been in Target stores for the last five years, the company said last month that more than 90% of its Q2 sales growth involved its outposts — whether a shopper’s order was purchased at the register, placed in their cars or shipped from stores.

To that end, Target said today that nearly all of its holiday deals are available via its contactless Drive Up and Order Pickup services and “more deals than ever” can be received via same-day delivery with Shipt.

“This means guests can get their orders in as soon as one hour, with no membership fee required,” the company noted.

Select deals will be made available early on Target.com starting Oct. 5, according to a statement.

For its part, Amazon confirmed just this week that its annual online shopping extravaganza will take place over two days on Oct. 13 and 14. Normally hosted in mid-July, Prime Day was postponed amid the coronavirus pandemic. It’s the latest that Amazon has ever held the event, as well as the first time it occurs in the company’s fourth quarter, which also includes two of the year’s biggest shopping days: Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

A significant sales catalyst for the e-commerce behemoth, Prime Day could have its work cut out for it this year as more boldface retail players like Walmart and Target accelerate their efforts to get ahead in a challenging retail climate that has so far boosted the already-successful companies while hitting less formidable ones hard.

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