Retailers Kick Off Holiday Sales

As the calendar turned to November, several major retailers quickly turned their focus to the holiday shopping season, offering discounts weeks before Black Friday.

Walmart said it is expanding its in-store and online product assortment to include a larger selection of national brands and more exclusives. In its home department, the retailer highlighted a host of items including a selection of Cuisinart and KitchenAid appliances and its selection of Pioneer Woman home and housewares.

The retailer also said it is offering more than two million items for free two-day shipping on orders of more than $35.

“We’re leveraging our more than 4,700 stores and Walmart.com to deliver more assortment, exclusives, convenience and savings than ever before,” said Steve Bratspies, Walmart’s chief merchandising officer.

Walmart will also be hosting 20,000 holiday parties at its supercenters and increasing product demos to 165,000 throughout the holiday season. The retailer is also launching its “Rock This Christmas” holiday advertising campaign that will feature traditional holiday songs along with contemporary music selections.

Amazon has officially opened its Black Friday Deals Store— www.amazon.com/blackfriday  that offers deals across every category now through Black Friday.

The retailer is also highlighting several ways for consumers to shop including voice shopping, Amazon app, augmented reality, Amazon.com in Spanish, Treasure Truck and Amazon Books.

In addition, Sears and Kmart have put “everything” on sale ahead of the holidays, according to a report from CNBC.

The two retailers owned by Sears Holdings each launched promotional events that highlighted “first-of-their-kind” discounts of 10% to 50% at Sears stores and 10% to 40% at Kmart locations.

Select appliances at Sears are up to 40% off including small electrics, with tools, furniture and footwear marked down up to 50%. According to information on Sears.com, the sales run through November 25.

Kelly Cook, chief marketing officer for Sears and Kmart, told CNBC, “Our shoppers said they wanted four things for the holidays. That consisted of extra time, added customer service, more freebies and ‘the whole store on sale.’”