Target Meets Amazon At Point Of Attack With ‘Deal Days’

Target Meets Amazon At Point Of Attack With Deal Days

Another contender has joined the Prime Day counterprogramming battle. Target announced on Monday (Sept. 28) that its “Deal Days” will compete day-to-day with Amazon’s proprietary holiday, which was confirmed only a few hours before Target’s.

By going head-to-head with Amazon, Target throws down the gauntlet not only to its Seattle-based competition, but to Walmart as well. Target’s event, first reported by the Minneapolis Star Tribune, will feature “digital deals on thousands of items, more than double what the retailer offered last year, as it adjusts to the surge of consumers who have shifted to shopping online during the coronavirus pandemic. The sales will melt into Target’s already announced longer holiday sales season that the company said it would start in early October.”

But it also brings up a thorny issue regarding shopper safety. Unlike Amazon, Target is still based in a brick-and-mortar model, although its digital sales have been skyrocketing. On Monday (Sept. 28), the CDC issued new guidance that discourages Americans from packing into malls or standing in long lines in close proximity. The timing of Target’s new shopper safety guidelines, which were released last week, most likely stemmed from the Deal Days announcement. The company announced that it will add more resources to support contactless services and safety, will offer its current team more hours and training opportunities, and will hire broadly across its stores and distribution centers in advance of the holiday season.

“The success of our business strategy rests on the strength of our team and their ability to adjust quickly to the needs of our guests and their changing shopping patterns,” said Melissa Kremer, Target’s chief human resources officer. “Throughout the year, the team has successfully balanced strong demand in our stores with surging digital volume. Knowing that the holiday season will be unlike any other, we’re building in even more flexibility to make sure Target remains a safe and convenient place to work and shop, while investing in our team’s industry-leading pay and benefits.”

Target seems to be basing its holiday staffing and processes on its pandemic experience. During that time, more than 10 million new guests shopped and demand for same-day fulfillment options quadrupled. For the holidays, Target will double the number of employees dedicated to Drive Up and Order Pickup, and will train additional team members to help during peak shopping periods. In-store employees will pack online orders that ship directly to shoppers, continuing to fulfill more than 90 percent of Target’s digital demand. The retailer will also hire more full-time and seasonal warehouse team members across the country than it hired in 2019.

“Target also will dedicate team members to the front of its stores who will greet and direct guests and be responsible for safety precautions like cleaning and disinfecting carts and baskets, metering access so guests can maintain social distancing and providing masks to guests who need them,” said the company in a statement. “To prepare for the season, Target store and distribution team members have completed more than 400,000 hours of safety training this year, with hundreds of thousands of additional hours anticipated before the end of the year.”