Walmart, Target to start holiday sales earlier this year

Both Walmart and Target announced Thursday that holiday sales that normally begin in November will begin earlier, a plan that the retailers say they hope will help Americans deal with higher prices due to inflation.

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Walmart announced it will be offering a wider assortment of items this holiday season, according to Tom Ward, the company’s chief e-commerce officer.

Walmart will be deepening discounts on toys, home goods, electronics and beauty products, among other items, Ward said in a statement.

Walmart will also expand the time it allows for returns by more than a month. According to the company, gift returns will be accepted between Oct. 1 and Jan. 31, compared with last year’s return window of Nov. 1 to Jan. 24.

Target announced it will begin its “Deal Days” Oct. 6-8. The company said it will continue its holiday deals going forward and will also begin price matching items at the same time.

Both retailers say they plan to hire additional employees for the holidays. Target said it plans to hire up to 100,000 seasonal employees in stores and distribution centers, while Walmart said this week it would hire 40,000 U.S. workers for the holidays.