In race for holiday shoppers, retailers promise speedy deliveries and tech in stores

Walmart, Target and Best Buy this week rolled out plans to woo shoppers during the holidays, focusing on early deals, speedier deliveries and beefed-up servi...

Posted: Oct 24, 2019 8:52 AM
Updated: Oct 24, 2019 2:45 PM

Walmart, Target and Best Buy this week rolled out plans to woo shoppers during the holidays, focusing on early deals, speedier deliveries and beefed-up service in stores.

Retailers are beginning sales early this year because there are six fewer shopping days between Thanksgiving and Christmas on the calendar than last year. Walmart will kick off its holiday deals on Friday, October 25.

'This year is a bit unique for our customers,' Steve Bratspies, Walmart chief merchandising officer, said on a call with reporters.

To draw shoppers away from Amazon online, these retailers are promising faster deliveries. Walmart has started to offer free next-day delivery on orders over $35 for more than 200,000 items. Best Buy said Tuesday that it would offer next-day delivery on thousands of smaller items such as tablets and headphones.

In stores, Walmart and Target will dedicate additional staff on the sales floor to help customers find products and check out more quickly.

Walmart will expand a program that stations store workers in the busiest sections of its massive supercenters. The company is outfitting some workers with mobile checkout scanners to ring up customers on the spot.

Target said it is increasing its holiday payroll by $50 million compared with last year and will increase the number of hours employees work during the holidays. It will also put more staffers on the floor.

Despite lingering trade tensions with China and mixed signals about the future of the US economy, leaders at Walmart and Target say they are managing tariffs and predicted a strong holiday period.

'We continue to see a very healthy consumer environment,' Target CEO Brian Cornell said Wednesday at an event with reporters. Cornell said his chain would benefit from low unemployment and falling gas prices.

Outside forecasts back executives' optimism. The National Retail Federation estimates retail sales in November and December will grow between 3.8% and 4.2% compared with a year ago.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 479326

Reported Deaths: 9353
CountyCasesDeaths
Harrison32779484
Hinds30924582
DeSoto30319353
Jackson23542341
Rankin21235366
Lee14803219
Madison14120271
Jones13327223
Forrest13078236
Lauderdale11501303
Lowndes10377176
Lamar10163130
Pearl River9008217
Lafayette8193137
Hancock7404111
Oktibbeha6909122
Washington6900150
Monroe6459159
Neshoba6441201
Warren6387163
Pontotoc623093
Panola6203125
Bolivar6072144
Marshall6068121
Union571386
Pike5574135
Alcorn533289
Lincoln5283131
George466072
Scott454796
Leflore4444140
Prentiss443377
Tippah442180
Itawamba441599
Adams4376116
Tate4327101
Simpson4313112
Wayne430766
Copiah429587
Yazoo419686
Covington413292
Sunflower4123104
Marion4073104
Leake395486
Coahoma391098
Newton367274
Grenada3543104
Stone350359
Tishomingo333288
Attala324286
Jasper313162
Winston303091
Clay294173
Chickasaw286265
Clarke279890
Calhoun263940
Holmes261387
Smith248048
Yalobusha219647
Tallahatchie217550
Walthall209958
Greene206845
Lawrence205732
Perry198553
Amite197651
Webster195042
Noxubee177739
Montgomery171654
Jefferson Davis167442
Carroll161437
Tunica150834
Benton141533
Kemper138039
Claiborne126134
Choctaw126026
Humphreys125937
Franklin116328
Quitman103426
Wilkinson101536
Jefferson87333
Sharkey62320
Issaquena1926
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 778549

Reported Deaths: 13665
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson1105871747
Mobile704651206
Madison49152610
Baldwin35946479
Shelby35796302
Tuscaloosa33410532
Montgomery32906672
Lee22231216
Calhoun20791397
Morgan19605326
Etowah18837449
Marshall17465272
Houston16452368
St. Clair15233293
Limestone14376182
Cullman14348246
Elmore14241256
Lauderdale13298278
Talladega12699230
DeKalb12036233
Walker10430323
Autauga9568133
Blount9555152
Jackson9235146
Coffee8728169
Colbert8426179
Dale8410170
Escambia6526114
Tallapoosa6501172
Covington6396163
Chilton6293141
Russell598555
Franklin5719100
Chambers5315133
Marion4734115
Dallas4665182
Clarke457076
Pike456294
Geneva4315116
Winston417192
Lawrence4086108
Bibb401680
Barbour341968
Marengo323183
Butler314988
Monroe314652
Pickens300470
Randolph299955
Henry298356
Hale289383
Cherokee284652
Fayette275672
Washington244848
Crenshaw235168
Clay225163
Macon217657
Cleburne217149
Lamar192140
Conecuh179646
Lowndes170158
Coosa166432
Wilcox155736
Bullock147742
Perry136036
Sumter124136
Greene120142
Choctaw72826
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Fall has started off exactly as you would have anticipated and it looks like we should have a number of dry days still ahead, but this isn’t a permanent switch, because heat is pegged to return.
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