Retailers try to jump-start holiday season weeks ahead of Thanksgiving.
If you own a department store, it's all about survival. These are tough times for everyone and any jump on the holidays is part of a strategy to get people to start spending their money now.
“We're offering great values and Black Friday type deals to our customers well before Black Friday,” said Larry Foerster from Sears.
It may seem early to start feeling the Holiday spirit, but that isn't stopping Sears from rushing Black Friday. Three weeks before the traditional after Thanksgiving shopping spree, Sears is hyping three weekends of bargains called "Black Friday Now."
“Our customers are demanding it really. Customers are looking for better values, better deals,” Foerster said.
“I don't think consumers are demanding. I don't think any consumers are writing and saying can you do this earlier. The marketers are rolling the dice a little bit,” said SDSU Marketing Professor George Belch.
And they're not alone. Walmart and other big name department stores are jumping on the Christmas shopping bandwagon well ahead of traditional holiday spending.
But are some people saying, ‘wait, it's too early to do this’?
“We'll get some feedback on Friday and Saturday. My estimation is, absolutely not. I think it's going to be just what they're looking for,” Foerster said.
Belch says it serves as a great barometer for the retailers.
“Because if they find consumers buying early, that's great. If the consumer is not buying they can kind of gauge the market to see if they have to do greater markdowns,” he said.
Not only is Sears offering early Black Friday deals, but this year they'll be open Thanksgiving morning for the first time.
Some economists say there is a pent up demand for consumer spending but whether early Christmas songs and decorations are enough to open the pocketbook, remains to be seen.
“People always say, ok, it's one thing to push Christmas a little early,” Belch said. “You got to ask yourself, are we going to see these deals coming after Labor Day pretty soon?”
Big name players like Sears and Walmart are in the business of making money. If early holiday sales work, you will see everyone jump in the game. If not, maybe we won't have to listen to Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer until after Thanksgiving.