Black Friday is coming five months early for some retailers, according to a report on USA Today.
Stores, including Target Corporation (NYSE: TGT), Sears Holdings Corp (NASDAQ: SHLD) and Banana Republic, a unit of Gap Inc (NYSE: GPS), are offering deals around the same time as Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN)'s big Prime Day sales event, which occurs on July 12 this year.
Amazon's Prime Day offers the online shopping service's Prime users a 24-hour sale on many products, with new deals starting as often as every five minutes throughout the day.
"Last year, Amazon offered 100,000 deals exclusively for Prime members. The customers responded by ordered 34.4 million items worldwide, exceeding the service's post-Thanksgiving Black Friday records. Amazon is promising this year will be even bigger," said USA Today.
Seeking to grab a pie of shoppers' attention, The Limited, Sears, Bealls, Banana Republic, Express, Inc. (NYSE: EXPR), Gap and Old Navy (also under Gap Inc) are all offering big discounts in the week before Prime Day, the report said, citing Offers.com.
The report said Banana Republic is offering an extra 50 percent off sale through July 11. The Limited is offering 50 percent off brand new arrivals. The Gap is holding "The Great Gap Sale," with big discounts on Sunday. Target is offering discounts on home items.
However, Target said its sales event has more to do with the back-to-school season than competition with Prime Day. Shoppers "will find deals on supplies, backpacks and apparel throughout July and August," it said in a statement.
Although Prime Day has been a huge hit for Amazon, and other retailers have used the event to boost their own sales events, "the name is a problem for them," Bloomberg went on to say.
"Trying to shy away from the P-word as just more free advertising for Amazon, other retailers have taken to calling Prime Day 'Black Friday July,'" Bloomberg quoted Offers.com General Manager Howard Schaffer as saying. "'Obviously "Black Friday" means discount to people,' so it's a good workaround, he said."
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