Christmas Sales Coming Early This Year?

By Eileen Curran, WBZ-TV

BRAINTREE (CBS) – Parents may still be picking out Halloween costumes, but Christmas is literally around the corner at Target.

Right next to the shelves of Halloween costumes and candy, are aisles of Christmas trees, decorations and wrapping paper, all waiting for those early shoppers. “It’s very, very important for these retailers to get aggressive, get out early and snag the customer early,” said Glenn Kelley, marketing professor at Babson College.

But are retailers being too aggressive? Sears is advertising a “Black Friday Now” sale this weekend complete with doorbuster prices on select items.

Many other big retailers like Target, Wal-Mart and Toys R Us are ramping up holiday sales well before the traditional holiday season.

The move is getting mixed reviews. “Black Friday is usually so crazy that it’s not even worth it,” said shopper Jackie Gifford of Pembroke.  “So, maybe tomorrow will be an easier way to get it done.”

Jennie Riley of Quincy disagrees.  “I think it should just be all on one day,” she said.  “It gets confusing. I think less people will come if it’s on a sporadic day.”

Laurel Sibel of Simon Property Group, which runs the South Shore Plaza in Braintree says the early Black Friday sales have been building the past few years. “I think consumers now have started to expect it.”

While retailers are advertising Black Friday prices, some experts say they may not be. “It’s not necessarily the best price,” said Kelley.  “A number of retailers have used this Black Friday or ‘black’ label as a tool or device to give the perception and impression that the deals are really great…when really they are the same price and they’re just rebranded.”

Experts say with any sale, do your homework first and compare prices to make sure you’re really getting the best deal. But in this economy, sometimes even a doorbuster price isn’t enough. “It all depends on money,” said Betsy Clermont of Boston.  “If you have it and you want to save then go for it, but if you don’t then hold onto that pocket change.”


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