Target and other major retailers are feeling a post-pandemic inventory crunch that could spell big savings for shoppers.
People aren’t shopping like they did a year ago. Consumers are making fewer high-end purchases and buying more necessities like food and household staples.
As a result, Target is aggressively clearing out pandemic goods like home decor, small kitchen appliances and electronics at stores across the country.
Bloated inventory is bad news for Target — the company’s profits for the fiscal first quarter were down 52% compared with the same period last year — but potentially great news for consumers.
As Target makes room for merchandise customers do want — like groceries, beauty items, household essentials and back-to-school supplies — a wave of goods is set to get deeply discounted or end up on the clearance rack.
Target didn’t reveal the types of discounts customers can expect or when certain overstock items will go on sale.
There are even rumors that Target’s announcement of discounted merchandise is just a public relations move to draw in shoppers and reassure shareholders.
We decided to check it out for ourselves. Here’s what we found.
How To Find Target Deals
You can check out the clearance and deals sections of Target.com to see what’s available online.
Orders over $35 qualify for free shipping while all other items are available for free in-store pick-up.
We did a little digging on Target.com and found some good deals — but nothing too shockingly discounted.
How to Find In-Store Deals at Target
You’re more likely to see clearance and sale items by visiting the store in person. Because each store has different inventory levels, sales will vary by location.
Here are some tips and tricks for finding the best deals.
Look for the Right Items
Target says many of the deepest discounts will take place in home decor, spring and summer fashion, furniture and small appliances. You’re likely to get the best deals on those items.
Shop at the Right Times
Target marks down items throughout the week (Monday through Friday). Each department typically has a specific day when it discounts items (like toys on Monday or electronics on Wednesday, for example).
Get Friendly with Store Employees
The best way to find out when your local Target is discounting items is by striking up a friendly conversation with a store associate. They can (hopefully) give you some insight on upcoming sales.
Look for those Bright Yellow Tags
You can spot a Target clearance item by its bright yellow tag on the shelf or sticker on an item. The current markdown price is in the lower right corner and the markdown percentage is in the upper right corner.
Check the Endcaps
Target often puts clearance items on endcaps — displays at the end of each aisle. Clearance clothing is usually found on one or two specific racks in the clothing department.
Patio Sales Going on Now Through July
Target usually marks down patio sets starting in July to make room for back-to-school gear but the retailer started early this year with a big Memorial Day sale on outdoor furniture. Many stores are still offering sales around 40% off and those discounts are likely to increase in July.
Sign up for Target Circle
Target Circle — formerly known as Cartwheel — is the company’s loyalty rewards program. You can earn 1% cash back on certain purchases and get alerted about deals at your local store. We spoke to one Target employee who said it’s the best way to stay informed about sales and discounts. You can sign up for Target Circle rewards online.
Look for additional discounts in the weeks and months ahead as Target and other major retailers like Walmart right-size their inventory to match new consumer spending habits.
Rachel Christian is a Certified Educator in Personal Finance and a senior writer for The Penny Hoarder.
This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.