NEW YORK -- Black Friday isn't for another 53 days. For Amazon, however, it starts today.
Amazon has begun rolling out "Black Friday-worthy deals" to jumpstart the holiday shopping season that's expected to be chaotic because of shipping and supply chain issues. Amazon announced Monday "deep discounts across every category" including fashion, home goods, toys and electronics that will be available on a special webpage.
Popular brands, such as Apple, KitchenAid and Hasbro, will also be discounted on "select days" in October and November. New deals will also be added every day throughout the next two months.
Amazon is also adding a new tool for US-based Prime members that shop on its app. They can now send a gift without knowing the recipient's address. Instead, they can enter the person's mobile number or email address and they will be alerted of the purchase or given the option of exchanging it for an Amazon gift card without letting the sender know.
Target announced last week that it's also getting a headstart on the shopping season earlier than ever. It's bringing back "Deal Days" on October 10 for three days that includes "savings on thousands of items" and will be available in-stores and online.
Customers should expect a stressful shopping season. Surging demand coupled with shipping container shortages and bottlenecks at ports have already triggered tighter supply of products, from cars to shoes. There's also factory closures in Vietnam because of Covid-19 that forced brands from PacSun to Nike to warn about the effects on their supply.
In the United States, the US Postal Service increased prices for the peak holiday shopping season because of more people shopping online. FedEx is also adding a fuel surcharge on certain shipments, including FedEx Express, FedEx Ground and FedEx Freight shipments, beginning on November 1.
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