15 must-know things we’ve learned about holiday shopping

  • Kara Driscoll
  • Staff Writer
7:54 a.m. Friday, Nov. 10, 2017 Business

The holiday shopping season has officially started, and stores and online retailers announced early deals and special offers this week.

Here’s everything we learned about what stores have planned:

As retailers gear up for the busiest shopping season of the year, companies are turning to new technology features like virtual reality to train employees and draw in shoppers. Retailers like Walmart and Target are adding new technology to compete with online retailers like Amazon that offer convenience and quickness to customers. LEARN MORE

Three new stores will open temporarily at The Greene throughout November. Businesses like home decor shop Grit & Grain and clothing store Shop Bravura opened in the first two weeks of the month. The pop-up shops are housed in a space at 4420 Glengarry Road. LEARN MORE

Toys“R”Us will open its doors at 5 p.m. on Thanksgiving and remain open through 11 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 24 for 30 straight hours of shopping. The stores will remain closed during the day on Thanksgiving. LEARN MORE

Meijer is adding thousands of general merchandise items to its popular store-to-door home delivery service. Customers can now order gifts and toys, wrapping paper, artificial trees and Christmas decorations online and then have it delivered to their door this holiday season. LEARN MORE

Macy’s reported its third quarter earnings, and company officials said the retailer is looking to gain “momentum” before 2018. Macy’s has locations at the Dayton Mall and the Mall at Fairfield Commons. READ MORE

Starbucks has unveiled another new holiday drink, and customers can get a special deal on their coffee for the next few days. The coffee chain released another new holiday drink — the Toasted White Chocolate Mocha. Other holiday flavors include the Peppermint Mocha and the Caramel Brulee Latte. LEARN MORE

As retailers push early deals for shoppers this holiday season, thousands of jobs are being added to local distribution and logistics centers to meet the demand presented by increased online shopping. This is the first year that online sales are expected to surpass in-store sales during the holiday season, with about 59 percent consumers planning to shop online. LEARN MORE

Target stores will be open 6 p.m. to midnight on Thanksgiving, and will reopen at 6 a.m. on Friday, Nov. 24. Black Friday deals will also be available for customers on Target.com early the morning of Thanksgiving, with free shipping on all orders. READ MORE

Half the list is dominated by relatively new toys launched after October 2016: Fingerlings, the Star Wars App Enabled R2-D2, and three L.O.L. Surprise! items, the research group found. The NPD Group has named the top 10 toys of the year that will most likely be hard to find closer to Christmas. LEARN MORE

The online retailer said “customers will find better deals than ever before on the hottest gifts in toys, electronics, home goods and more, the best in holiday entertaining essentials including kitchen items and decor, and even wardrobe must haves,” according to a statement. LEARN MORE

The robots are about two-feet-tall and are outfitted with cameras that help them scan aisles and identify missing or mislabeled inventory across the stores. The robots also check for mispriced items, and give the information to employees who fix the issues. READ MORE

Todd Bettman, who is founder and CEO of Shops by Todd Inc., owns and operates 19 shops in two states and the business continues to grow. He said his stores like Jake’s Toggery, Pandora and Occasionally Yours continue to bring in strong sales each year — in part due to the niche products sold and unique customer service provided by the brands. LEARN MORE

The service, offered exclusively for Prime members, will be available on Wednesday. Amazon Key allows customers to have their packages securely delivered inside their home without having to be there. Using the Amazon Key app, customers stay in control and can track their delivery with real-time notifications, watch the delivery happening live or review a video of the delivery after it is complete, according to Amazon. LEARN MORE

The financially struggling retailer will begin to trade on the OTCQX Best Market, leaving the Nasdaq exchange. Bon-Ton starts trading on the OTCQX on Thursday, but will continue to trade under the symbol “BONT.”LEARN MORE

On one side is Target, which said Monday it will join Best Buy and Macy’s, which have closed their stores in the overnight hours in recent years. They have found less payoff in staying open during the wee hours when traffic dwindles now that their stores are open earlier on Thanksgiving evening. READ MORE

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