By Alana Gomez, WBZ-TV

CAMBRIDGE (CBS) — The bells are ringing and cash registers singing to the tune of holiday shoppers starting the season early.

“I’m getting it early for his Christmas present so I’m ahead of schedule and not trying to get everything last minute,” said Katherine Roldan, who was shopping at the CambridgeSide Galleria for her brother.

Roldan thinks ahead and retailers are right behind her.  Stores are not waiting for the traditional Black Friday kick-off to bring in business.

“We’re definitely seeing increased buying trends earlier and often, and bigger transactions,” said Josh Blumenshine, a manager with Sears.

Blumenshine said this is the first year the store is offering deals and opening early the day before Thanksgiving.  Sears also started special sales at the beginning of the month with the slogan “Black Friday Now.”

Similar strategies aren’t hard to find.

“We are getting an influx of customers coming earlier because of our promotions,” said Robert Sligar, store manager for the Cambridge Best Buy. ”Sometimes we’re giving deals just as good as Black Friday the couple of days before.”

Bay State stores are looking forward to a positive economic outlook.  The Retailers Association of Massachusetts anticipates the strongest holiday spending year since 2006, with customers expected to bring in $10.46 billion in sales in November and December.  The local trade group projects a 4.3 percent increase in spending which is nearly double the National Retail Federation’s prediction of 2.3 percent across the country.

“I got a raise at my job and now I have extra to spend on my Christmas presents,” said Roldan.

Not everyone with more financial flexibility is willing to rush to the mall.

“I think the last few years has really taught our family how to be creative with money,” said Christine Fichera, with her two young children in a toy store.  “We’re having a great time doing that and I don’t see a reason to change.”


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