What Amazon Wants You to Buy for the Holidays

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Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) admitted that the discounts it gave on gifts during its Black Friday Deals Week and Cyber Monday Deals Week are over. Like every other retailer, it has to keep the attention of shoppers until the holidays have ended. So, it has launched a new set of incentives for people to shop on the most visited e-commerce site in America — its Top Holiday Deals event.

Amazon has targeted a few categories that it must believe are the most likely ones to lure shoppers. As it launched its new sales, it announced:

Just like during Black Friday and Cyber Monday, you’ll find limited-time sales and specials from across Amazon, including sales on electronics, low prices on DVDs, toy bargains, and fashionable deals on clothing, shoes, jewelry, and more.

Like every other retailer, Amazon has to take business from the two largest retailers — Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE: WMT) and Target Corp. (NYSE: TGT). However, Amazon’s new discounts are more focused than simply to take business from them.

Based on the merchandise sales Amazon has decided to pitch, its management believes that it has to continue to take revenue away from companies in several categories that continue to be strongholds of its most successful retail store competitors. Best Buy Co. Inc.’s (NYSE: BBY) fortunes have improved over the past two quarters, and its management has forecast a strong holiday season. Traditionally, Amazon has taken a greater and greater portion of the consumer electronics market. If that trend does not continue, Amazon’s growth rate will be dinged. Best Buy is the largest consumer electronics chain, and it has, according to its management, upgraded BestBuy.com to draw enough customers to start to steal market share back from Amazon.

Toys”R”Us is still the leader in its niche, despite the availability of toys at other large retailers. These retailers have, at most, a toy section in their locations or on their websites. Amazon management knows that market share taken from Toys”R”Us is market share taken from the retailer where many consumers decide to buy toys. Amazon’s toy discounts, if they work, are aimed to move people away from shopping at the market leader.

Clothing, shoes and jewelry are at the heart of what retailers Macy’s Inc. (NYSE: M), Sears and J.C. Penney Co. Inc. (NYSE: JCP) sell. Sears and J.C. Penney may be weak, but they still have more locations than almost any other retailers. Amazon management does not mind taking market share from companies that are already in trouble, if the share it is taking is in a big enough category. Clothing and accessories are among these.

The selection of Amazon’s Top Holiday Deals is hardly random. The sales are aimed to take the maximum number of customers it can from America’s largest retailers.