Even though Halloween is still a month away, retail stores are already gearing up for the Christmas rush.
According to Michael Kern, store manager of Hobby Lobby in Normal, November and December are the prime months for Holiday sales.
However, that does not stop the local craft store from setting up their Christmas displays as early as June.
“As soon as we put it out, people start buying it,” Kern said.
“I think they’re doing it maybe so that students can take advantage of the stuff quicker … but I don’t think there’s any big advantage [to shopping early],” Uri Saenz, senior marketing major said.
“I think you kind of look like a hoarder in a sense.”
Kern said there are more reasons for the store’s early holiday setup.
“It takes us about four months to get all of our seasonal department set, so if we waited until even now to get it done, we would really be pushing trying to get everything completed before people start shopping for it.”
Another Normal retail store, Target, plans to display their holiday merchandise next week.
Store Manager Kris Mcdempsey said the store is trying to get shoppers into the holiday mindset and start Christmas shopping early.
“I think the competitive marketplace has continued to push retailers to get that Christmas product out early, and I don’t think it’s just our normal trim and tree product,” Mcdempsey said.
“It’s getting in the toys and electronics and getting into those deals and sales earlier.”
This year national holiday sales are expected to rise between 4 percent and 4.5 percent in the November to January period to a range of $963 to $967 billion, according to a forecast from Deloitte.
While moderate, this increase is in line with the 4.5 percent the firm saw last year.
“We’re cautiously optimistic —we’ve seen momentum throughout the year,” said Alison Paul, vice chairman of Deloitte.
“Though economic news continues to be mixed, our economists believe we have positive momentum going into the holiday season.”
Locally, Mcdempsey is excited about the end of year sale possibilities.
“I think we’re doing the best we can to grab our share of the market,” he said.