Here we are at the end of August and more than a few major retailers have wisely gotten a jump start on the 2011 Christmas season. This season will no doubt present significant sales challenges for retailers due to slow economic improvements, inflation, unstable gas prices and the recent devastation caused by Hurricane Irene on America’s East coast. Knowing it will be more difficult to capture the attention and wallets of shoppers, retailers are smart to throw their hats into the holiday ring as early as possible. In spite of US economic challenges, the National Retail Federation indicates that holiday sales are expected to rise based on port shipment arrival figures and retail hiring.
Neiman Marcus and it’s home affiliate, Horchow have full seasonal tabs on their websites which include items for the fall and winter holidays, including Christmas. Macy’s on State Street in Chicago is working on setting up the ever popular Holiday Lane and has a large selection of Christmas items online. Look no further than Hammacher Schlemmer for an intro to some of the most unique holiday gifts available for 2011. Perhaps the sweetest ornaments you will find are at Disney online, Mickey just gets better and better. Costco is brimming with toys and Christmas decorations. Other big box retailers like Target, Walmart and BJ’s are beginning to show Christmas merchandise online and will likely have full department setups in place sometime in the next few weeks.
Get a jumpstart on you own Christmas holiday shopping by taking advantage of clearance and going out of business sales. Borders Books is closing all of it’s stores and is in the final weeks of liquidation with discounts of up to 70% on books, music, CDs and other gift items. End of season sales also offer opportunities to buy everything from tee shirts to gardening tools at fantastic prices. Don’t miss the opportunity to stop into discount and overstock stores like Big Lots for fabulous deals on brand name merchandise at immediately discounted prices.
Good Luck on your Christmas 2011 Jump Start!