Walmart Offers a Recession-Proof Thanksgiving

The retailer is preparing something special for customers who are exhausted by rising prices.

As prices continue to rise on everything from groceries to travel and the holidays skate ever closer, many families are wondering whether they can even afford to host a Thanksgiving dinner.

A recent survey showed that nearly 2 or 5 (38%) of folks had decided to trim down the expenses of their Thanksgiving spreads due to inflation. So if you do plan to attend a celebration, expect to see less of a cornucopia than usual. 

And that’s if you’re celebrating at all — a recent Bankrate survey of 2,455 adults showed that 8 of every 10 planned to alter their travel or forgo it entirely this year because of the rising cost of travel.

While businesses have to cope with these cost issues as much as consumers do, a few that are able have stepped up with so-called inflation-proof offers such as Costco’s declaration that its famous $1.50 hot dog combo would not go up in price.

And now Walmart  (WMT) – Get Walmart Inc. Report has joined that list by offering an inflation-proof deal crafted specifically for Thanksgiving. And it’s one that may make it easier for families to celebrate the beloved holiday in the way they are accustomed to.

What Is Walmart Doing for Thanksgiving?

Walmart said on Nov. 3 that it would offer Thanksgiving foods at what it calls “this year’s meal at last year’s price.”

Costs have been slashed on everything from the traditional turkey and ham to classic Libby  (NSRGY) – Get Nestle SA ADR Report canned pumpkin to make your favorite holiday pie. The retailer also mentions its effort to create offerings for Gen Z shoppers as well.

“We also expect that more Gen Z customers will be first-time turkey buyers this year, and our Gen Z customers like having easy, convenient meal options,” John Laney, the retail giant’s executive vice president of food, says via the official announcement. 

“For the holidays, we expanded our selection of easier-to-manage roasts, like boneless turkey breasts, and our selection of grab-and-go meal options, like ready-to-make sides and freshly baked desserts, so these customers can find exactly what they need at Walmart.” 

Retail Pushes Holiday Boundaries

While Walmart’s move offers some relief for those constantly worried about rising prices, other retailers have tried a variety of different strategies for a holiday season that’s setting up to be very different than the ones before it.

Intended as a sequel to its popular Prime Day event, Amazon  (AMZN) – Get Inc. Report launched what it calls Prime Early Access this year, which took place in mid-October. 

Designed to encourage early holiday shopping, the event came at a time where folks were already feeling holiday anxiety — hence why retail was flat in October, as if shoppers are putting off holiday buying as long as they can.

But TheStreet’s Dan Kline believes this strategy will serve only to confuse and further stress out consumers.

“The reality is that Amazon, Walmart, and Target  (TGT) – Get Target Corporation Report will crowd out lesser retailers using the three months of Christmas strategy. It may even be the right strategy for those companies even if it’s one that makes holiday shopping harder for customers,” he says.

“Now, consumers simply don’t know when they should shop, and that means either being content with good, but maybe not the best deals, or spending a lot of time tracking prices and making returns.”

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