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Walmart, Target begin holiday early to ease inflation sting

(AP) — Walmart and Target plan to begin offering deals and price matching offers earlier this year to keep up with Americans pressed by soaring inflation and looking for ways to take the sting out of holiday shopping. 

Inflation that is hovering near four-decade highs, experts believe, could push families to get an earlier start on shopping with hopes of avoiding even higher prices later. 

The early marketing plans, announced on Thursday, come as forecasts point to slower holiday sales growth compared with a year ago. 

AlixPartners, the global consulting firm, forecasts that holiday sales will be up anywhere from 4% to 7% over last year. 

The current inflation rate of 8.3% means retailers would see a decrease in real sales.

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