Target to avoid ‘Christmas creep’ by focusing on Thanksgiving first

MINNEAPOLIS — Target plans to avoid the “Christmas creep” by focusing on Thanksgiving before bringing in Christmas promotions.

The retailer said it will keep Thanksgiving-themed signs and displays at the entrances, and focus its marketing on Thanksgiving meals and entertainment.

Target said this is what their customers told it they wanted.

“They want us to pause, and be really intentional and recognize Thanksgiving,” Rick Gomez, Target’s chief marketing officer, told The Associated Press. “What they don’t want us to do is go right into Christmas. So, we are going to respect that.”

Target’s holiday plans also include free shipping, more weekend deals and new kiosks featuring a slew of gifts for less than $15.

The free shipping will start in November, Target announced Monday.

Target will roll out more than 1,700 items for the holidays. It’s introducing eight exclusive brands, including a line of home goods from celebrity remodelers Chip and Joanna Gains.

Stocking stuffers will be available for $1.

Target will also ramp up its digital options in another way: Next month, the company is introducing a mobile wallet function for REDcard holders, who can pay for store purchases by scanning their phones.

As it gears up for the holidays, Target is competing with rivals Walmart and Amazon.

Last month, Target said it would hire more than 100,000 temporary workers, a sharp increase over last year.

Amazon said this month it would hire 120,000 temporary workers, while Walmart said it would give existing employees more hours.