BLOOMINGTON, Minn. -- So you've purchased all the kids' school supplies. You're probably thinking it's a good time to sit back and relax for a few weeks. Retailers are not relaxing; they are focusing on finding your Christmas cash. That's right, your CHRISTMAS cash in September.
"Everybody's already talking about Christmas, we're not even out of October yet and we're already thinking about Christmas?" Pat Stanley of St. Louis said after putting down some cash at the Lego store in the Mall of America.
"They keep coming earlier and earlier. They want us shopping earlier and it's just way too early for me," Shopper Chelsea Cranston said.
"Today we find Christmas creep has gone in," University of St. Thomas Marketing Professor Dave Brennan said. Retailers are jumping into the holidays two weeks earlier than recent years past. USA Today found Costco, Home Depot, Kmart, Sears, Wal-Mart, and JC Penney will start selling Christmas merchandise before the end of the month.
"In retailing, the idea is if you can get a sale today, it's going to be better than a sale tomorrow. It's going to be more likely at full price today," Brennan explained. He also wonders if it makes good business sense. "I think that people are a lot more concerned about near term issues that we're dealing with than Christmas, which at this point seems a little bit far off."
While a lot of the big box retailers hope to cash in on the holidays early, the Mall of America folks are saying hold your horses. "People are starting the holiday season earlier and earlier and we have a firm belief that we want Halloween to happen. The holiday décor will be staying down here (beneath the mall). We won't start decorating til' the beginning of November this year," Bridget Jewell with the mall said.
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