Walmart will launch deals, promotions, and expanded returns earlier this ever this holiday season as it looks to attract inflation-weary consumers.
The push comes amid what many experts are predicting will be a modest holiday season. Deloitte’s annual holiday forecastpredicts that year-over-year holiday sales will increase 4% to 6%. By comparison, sales grew 15.1% last year.
Many of Walmart’s holiday features and offerings will start on Saturday, Oct. 1. The company’s holiday plans also include hiring about 40,000 employees.
The discount giant’s plans also include an expanded window for returns. Eligible purchases made on or after Oct. 1, 2022, can be returned through Jan. 31, 2023. Last year, returns were accepted Nov. 1 to Jan. 24.
In addition, the retailer will offer Walmart+ members in select stores the option of returns picked up from their doorstep. Members won’t need to provide a box or a label, they can hand off the return to the delivery driver, and Walmart will handle the rest.
Walmart also offerscurbside returns, which allow customers to return items from their vehicles, including while picking up curbside purchases.
Following are more highlights of Walmart’s holiday 2022 strategy:
Pricing Based on company data showing more than half of its customers will start their holiday shopping early and more than 80% are drawn by low prices, Walmart is making what it calls “significant” price investments in key categories. In addition, Walmart said it will offer thousands more rollback discounts this holiday to provide deeper savings in categories including toys, home, electronics and beauty.
Increased assortment Walmart has expanded its assortment of holiday gifts this season with more items, more new brands and more Walmart exclusives. The retailer invested in key gifting categories to increase inventory for electronic products and home goods.
Walmart has also increased its toy assortment with 1,400 new toys, including over 500 Walmart-exclusives, and a new, expanded assortment of ride-ons and collector segments for Star Wars, Barbie and Transformers.
More than half the toys on Walmart’s Top Toy List are under $50 – with many under $25 – and nearly all of the toys are available to shop as of Sept. 22 or via pre-order on Walmart.com.
Enhanced digital shopping During the last several months, Walmart has been making improvements to its site experience and launching new features designed to make online and mobile shopping easier, more engaging and more personalized.
These upgrades include virtual styling and fitting room features, bilingual search, and digital registry enhancements such as new recommended items and “Scan to Add,” a new feature allowing customers to scan items in store using the Walmart app and add them directly to a registry.
“Saving our customers time and money is in our DNA, and I am proud of how we’ve innovated to offer exactly what our customers need this holiday – deeper savings across a broader assortment of gifts with a seamless omnichannel shopping experience,” said Tom Ward, executive VP and chief e-commerce officer, Walmart U.S., in a corporate blog post. “We listened to our customers, and the way we’re approaching holiday this year underscores our commitment to making holiday shopping easier, affordable and more enjoyable.”