Amazon, Walmart kick off holiday sales with ‘massive’ deals coming | Jobi Cool

Holiday deals are coming back, bringing some relief to U.S. shoppers squeezed by inflation.

Tech gadgets for sporting goods will see “massive” discounts online, with the best buys likely in late November, Adobe Analytics said in a report Monday. Walmart Inc. is already promoting deals on computers, toys and air fryers this week, but Amazon. com inc. will begin a two-day “early access” sale on Tuesday. Target Corp.’s weekly Black Friday deals. are started.

Retailers are scrambling to capitalize on seasonal demand as they struggle to reduce bloated inventories, leaving them with little choice but to dangle price cuts in stores and online to woo consumers who have been hammered by rising inflation this year. That’s a big change from 2021, when relatively lean buyers snapped up commodities amid fears supply disruptions would lead to shortages.

“Last year there wasn’t a lot of product and retailers didn’t have to discount,” said Brian Yarbrough, an analyst at Edward Jones. “Fast forward to this year and we are in the opposite position.

Online holiday sales from Nov. 1 to Dec. 31 are projected to be $209.7 billion, Adobe said, up just 2.5% from a year ago. That pales in comparison to last year’s 8.6% gain. And with expectations for annual U.S. inflation around 8%, many retailers may actually make fewer sales this year, albeit at higher prices.

Part of the reason for the gloomy outlook for November and December is that retailers are trying to get customers to start shopping early.

Amazon’s “Prime Early Access Sale” is expected to drive some spending, just as the company’s Prime Day in July fueled a rising tide for all retailers, said Taylor Schreiner, director of Adobe Digital Insights.

Another drag on holiday spending is that shoppers have less money for discretionary purchases as inflation forces them to spend more on essentials like fuel and groceries. Americans are also taking more trips this year as the coronavirus pandemic eases.

“If they’re traveling, it reduces their spending on holiday gifts,” said Marshal Cohen, general counsel at NPD Group. “And even just the cost of the Thanksgiving and Christmas meals will go up 25% or more for many.” ”

Adobe’s soft outlook for holiday sales is in line with what other industry watchers have predicted. Deloitte also predicts a slower period as inflation takes its toll.

Retailers hope the price cuts will rekindle shoppers’ interest in items that have been sitting on the shelves, including electronics and home furnishings. Best Buy Co. is kicking off a two-day sale on Tuesday with discounts on TVs, headphones and Apple Inc. laptops.

More promotional activity will add pressure to the results of major retailers, many of which have already cut their profit forecasts. Some companies may see some cost relief as transportation bottlenecks are reduced, reducing the pressure on margins. But it will be difficult for them to avoid joining the rush to lure buyers with discounts.

“It’s just a default, everyone is going to promote,” said Gabriella Santaniello, founder of retail consultant A Line Partners. “It’s going to come from everywhere.”

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