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Walmart, Other Big Boxes Find Holiday Sales Drivers

With the holiday sales season underway, big-box retailers are experimenting with new ways to attract customers to their brick-and-mortar locations to drive sales and deliver memorable holiday shopping experiences.

Walmart is planning to hold thousands of parties this holiday season at more than 4,700 stores, according to the company.

The retailer is hosting three holiday-themed parties across stores in November and December: “Toys that Rock,” “Parties that Rock” and “Gifts that Rock.” Customers will be able to browse a curated selection of toys, party supplies and gift ideas at the in-store parties.

Walmart is also expanding its assortment of in-store merchandise during the holiday season. According to Walmart, national brands that had not previously been available like Cuisinart, KitchenAid, Bose and Yankee Candle will now be in stock.

“Serving customers is our everyday passion at Walmart, and during the holiday season we work even harder to deliver what our customers want most… to save time and money,” chief merchandising officer Steve Bratspies says.

Sears is launching an “aggressive holiday sales campaign” to help combat slumping sales, reports suburban Chicago’s Daily Herald.

The retailer, which suffered a 20 percent year-over-year revenue loss in its first-quarter financial results, is marking down its entire inventory by as much as 50 percent, according to the article.

Meanwhile, Target is helping make gift-giving easier than ever with assortments of curated gift ideas for men, women, teens and children, the company reports. These assortments include nearly 1,700 separate items and most are under $15.

In December, many Target locations will feature photo booths for customers. Built to resemble an upside-down fireplace, shoppers are invited to snap a photo and then rotate the image to see themselves sliding down the chimney with Santa Claus.

Target is also planning weekend events in December where shoppers can taste holiday foods, take part in interactive product demonstrations and more.

Whole Foods, which was purchased by Amazon earlier this year, is also planning in-store holiday sales events and pop-up shops that will sell Amazon products.

These pop-up shops, which will appear at more than 100 Whole Foods locations, will carry Amazon products like the Echo, Echo Dot, Fire and Kindle e-readers, CNBC reports.

On select weekends in November and December, Whole Foods is hosting in-store tasting events where customers can sample items from its holiday catering menu. The company is also dropping prices on items across the store before the holidays, according to Whole Foods.

“These are the latest new lower prices in our ongoing integration and innovation with Amazon, and we’re just getting started,” said John Mackey, Whole Foods Market co-founder and CEO. “In the few months we’ve been working together, our partnership has proven to be a great fit.”

Make sure your operation is set for the holiday sales rush by downloading holiday-themed signage. This media kit includes press releases, posters and ready-to-post social media updates that highlight the many benefits of shopping locally.

About Todd Taber

Todd is trends editor for Hardware Retailing magazine. He graduated from Indiana University where he majored in journalism and French. Throughout his career, he has aimed to highlight small businesses and their community value. He joined NRHA in 2017.

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