Holidays are usually for gatherings but many get-togethers are complicated or canceled because of COVID-19.
Lowe’s kicks off its holiday savings earlier than in past years with more online specials than in-store doorbusters.
The North Carolina-based home improvement chain starts its new “Season of Savings” sale Thursday in a holiday shopping season retailers say is unlike any other amid the coronavirus pandemic.
And with many Americans spending more time at home this year, Lowe’s is encouraging consumers this season to give gifts for the home.
“We’ve seen a focus on home like never before,” said Marisa Thalberg, Lowe’s executive vice president, chief brand and marketing officer.
Instead of a traditional Black Friday sale, Lowe’s will have daily one-day, online-only “Cyber Steals” from Oct. 22 through Dec. 2 on tools, generators, pressure washers, patio sets, electronics, small appliances, floor care, lighting, decor and more at Lowes.com/CyberSteals.
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“We want people to be able to get what they want at great values, no matter how they want to shop this holiday season,” Thalberg said in an interview with USA TODAY, noting deals will be available for curbside pickup, in-store pickup and delivery.
Other stores also are making changes to their traditional Black Friday sales. Weeks after “promising an all-new Black Friday experience,” Walmart said it will spread out the savings in November with “Black Friday Deals for Days” and will hold three different sales online and in stores instead of one.
Walmart stores will be closed on Thanksgiving for the first time since the late 1980s.
Home Depot, Target and Best Buy are among the retailers planning to have longer sales with more savings online to help reduce crowds and spread out demand amid COVID-19.
“When it comes to going into the physical stores, we are not going to create a situation where there is a time sensitivity that would create crowd situations,” Thalberg said. “That is irresponsible in our current environment.”
In August, Lowe’s reported its online sales soared 135%, while same-store sales, including those outside the U.S., rose 34.2%.
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Lowe’s starting Christmas tree delivery
To make it easier for shoppers to get a tree without leaving the house, Lowe’s will have free local fresh Christmas tree delivery available from Oct. 30 through Dec. 11, Thalberg said.
Other decorative items, including fresh-cut wreaths and tree containers, will also be available for free local delivery for purchases over $45. Learn more and place orders at Lowes.com/FreshChristmasTrees.
Thalberg said demand for decor is starting early this year.
“I actually predict you’re going to see some people maybe even going more over the top than ever in how they decorate their homes both inside and outside,” she said.
‘Letters to Home’ campaign
While letters to Santa are a popular holiday tradition, Lowe’s is starting another letter-writing campaign as part of its push to bring a greater focus on the home.
Lowe’s is asking consumers to write “Letters to Home” and share why they love their homes, what their homes endured this year and how they hope to make them even better next year, Thalberg said, adding some letters will be spotlighted and there could be some “wish fulfillment.”
The letters can be shared digitally on social media using #LetterstoHome and there will be big, red mailboxes at Lowe’s stores across the country to drop them off.
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Follow USA TODAY reporter Kelly Tyko on Twitter: @KellyTyko
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