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This Holiday Season Finds Retailers Racing to Make Early Sales

Holiday shoppers continue to spend – but will it last?

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Target was one of the 66 companies named by The Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) for its America’s Top Corporations for Women’s Business Enterprises (WBEs) 2023 awards | Photography: iStock, hapabapa

The arrival of the all-important holiday shopping season has retailers not just competing with one another to attract customers – they’re are also working to beat the clock, The New York Times reports.

For now, Americans continue to spend, some bolstered by pandemic-era savings and a still-hot labor market. However, prices are climbing at the fastest pace in decades and the Federal Reserve is attempting to rein them in by raising interest rates. That effort is making consumers pessimistic about the economy, with a possible recession still in the minds of many.

As a result, retailers – some of them sitting on a glut of inventory – want to sell as much as they can while consumers are still spending. They are offering customers deeper discounts before an economic slowdown causes a change in behavior once more.

To bring in bargain-hungry shoppers and move unwanted inventory, many companies are promoting “value,” offering steep discounts and low prices more than last year, even as labor costs remain high. Many started their holiday blitzes early in the hopes of jump-starting sales. Target held “Deal Days” in October and Old Navy rolled out a “Sorry, Not Sorry” holiday campaign.

“Value clearly matters to everyone,” Corie Barry, the Chief Executive of Best Buy, said during an earnings call last week.

For the full NYT article, click here.

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