Target Corp is expanding the number of items that qualify for free shipping on its website and rolling out the shipping promotion two weeks earlier than last year as it looks to win holiday sales. said Friday it is offering free shipping on more than 100,000 items when consumers spend $50 or more on its site. The free shipping offer for qualifying purchases will begin on November 1, two weeks earlier than a year ago.

The holiday shopping season could be a tough one for retailers, with the National Retail Federation predicting sales could fall 1 percent. But online shopping is expected to be a bright spot, and retailers are attempting to win sales by touting free shipping offers or cutting prices.

Earlier this month, Wal-Mart Stores Inc's slashed the price of highly anticipated hardcover books, igniting a pricing war with Inc. is also touting its site-to-store program, under which shoppers can buy an item on its site and have it shipped to a local store at no charge.

(Reporting by Nicole Maestri, editing by Gerald E. McCormick)