This holiday season, the company is offering free two-day shipping for online orders, covering hundreds of thousands of items, with no minimum purchase. It's a way to undercut competitors like Amazon and Walmart, The Wall Street Journal reports, with Walmart offering free two-day shipping on orders of $35 or more and Amazon providing the same service for Prime members. The promotion will run from Nov. 1 to Dec. 22.
Target CEO Brian Cornell said the company has been converting stores to distribution centers, which cuts shipping costs and enables "our digital growth and strategy." He said about half of all online orders are now fulfilled at stores, and the plan is to fulfill more than 90 percent of all two-day orders from stores. Even with free shipping, Cornell said Target stores will still be filled with customers, as "over 80 percent of all holiday shopping is going to happen in the store." Catherine Garcia
As part of an ongoing integration process between the two retailers, the store will offer even lower prices to Amazon Prime members, who will be able to log onto their accounts and print a coupon for increased savings. For example, non-Prime members will be able to buy organic turkey at the lower-than-usual price of $3.49 per pound, but Prime members with their printed coupon will pay just $2.99 per pound.
Amazon began cutting Whole Foods' prices in August after closing a deal to buy the grocer for $13.7 billion. "This offer is a sneak preview of the special savings and in-store benefits Prime members can expect when Prime becomes the official rewards program of Whole Foods Market," said John Mackey, Whole Foods Market co-founder and CEO in a press release. Elianna Spitzer
Guns were a popular purchase this Black Friday, with gun store owners reporting a busy day fueled by relatively modest discounts of about 10 percent. Still, many gun retailers find themselves with excess stock following Donald Trump's surprise election victory: Gun buyers were expected to stock up in advance of a Hillary Clinton administration, which many believed would have led to restrictive new gun control laws targeting models like the AR-15, a semi-automatic rifle. "We see those guys that maybe would have bought an AR if Hillary won buying lever-action and bolt-action rifles and shotguns," said Mike Goschinski, a gun retailer in Ohio.
Online shopping sales also surged on Black Friday to a record peak of $3 billion this year, with more than a third of that spending done via mobile devices. For some retailers like Walmart and Target, about two in three purchases were made on smartphones, and overall online shopping increased 20 percent over Black Friday 2015.
In-store sales saw a slower morning followed by increased foot traffic Friday afternoon and evening, with many malls reporting crowds but few long lines. Bonnie Kristian