A holiday roadmap revealed

Target’s formula for success this holiday season is to promote early and often, leverage technology and be transparent about the entire process so the media can educate shoppers about what is going on. For example, the retailer last week laid out a variety of strategies it will employ this holiday season beginning with an enlarged toy catalog that was available online over the weekend and will be mailed to homes next week. The catalog will feature 48 coupons and an all new feature this year involves the use of 2D barcodes, also known as QR codes, that can be scanned with a smartphone to connect people to more information about the product.

Following release of the toy catalog, Target plans to hold a four-day pre-Black Friday sale that begins Sunday, Nov. 21. The weekly ad that appears that day will feature 170 items along with coupons for additional savings. On Thanksgiving Day, Target will be looking to capitalize on the trend of people shopping online by promoting a one-day sale with exclusive items that won’t be available on Black Friday or the following Saturday. The company is also offering its largest free-shipping promotion ever with more than 800,000 items available for free shipping when purchased between Nov. 21 and Dec.11.

As for Black Friday, Target said it plans to offer 25 featured items, 11 more than last year and, as an added enticement to shop early and spend big, those who spend more than $100 before 10 a.m. will receive a $10 gift card.