FILE PHOTO: A shopper carries a Target paper bag in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S., March 1, 2020. REUTERS/Jeenah Moon

(Reuters) – Target Corp TGT.N will kick off its holiday season deals in October this year, at the same time as Amazon.com Inc’s AMZN.O Prime Day event, aiming to attract customers who are shopping primarily online due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Target said it will hold its “Deal Days” promotional event on Oct. 13 and 14 and will also expand Black Friday pricing for the whole of November, promising shoppers nearly 1 million more deals than last year.

The retailer has already made plans to staff more employees at distribution centers and for its contactless services to make shopping easier for those ordering online and collecting items in stores.

“By kicking off our holiday deals earlier than ever … we’re letting guests know they don’t need to wait or face the crowds to get the best deals,” said Christina Hennington, Target’s chief merchandising officer.

Amazon, which postponed the its annual sales event from July to October this year due to the health crisis, said it is investing an additional $100 million in special Prime Day and holiday promotional programs.

“The 2020 Holidays will be elongated, with retailers looking to meter out a consistent cadence of holiday bargains, as opposed to focus on big tent pole door buster type events,” said Rick Maicki, managing director in the corporate finance practice at Berkeley Research Group.

Target, Amazon and Walmart Inc WMT.N are among some of the retailers that benefited from the increasing shift to online shopping as customers avoid crowds due to the coronavirus, while many retailers have made plans to stretch the busy holiday season.

Via Reuters Finance