Feedback: Halloween Not Here, But Christmas Is Coming

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There are still 13 days to go in October, but Christmas is showing up in north country stores.

When we looked Thursday, we found shelves at Target and K-Mart in Watertown making room for holiday displays.

They aren't alone.

"I was surprised when I went into a couple of stores," said Keitha Delles, a shopper in Watertown.. "It was at least a week or two ago, and they were already putting out all the things."

It's hard to accurately guage whether the stores are really that much ahead of normal - whatever 'normal' is - but one store confirmed they began putting out Christmas material early.

And customers like it.

"I've had a lot of guests come up to me and ask 'Do you have Christmas set already?' And I'm like, 'It's in the back corner.," said Mary Ann Vanicek of Target.

Of course, there's also psychology at work.

"If we waited as retailers until you felt like going out and shopping - which may not be for most guys until the week before Christmas - the wallet would be gone," said Bob Phibbs of the website 'Retail Doctor.'

Another trend: layaway. Layaway has made a strong comeback after losing popularity for years.
 
It's very popular among 20-somethings, Phibbs said.
 
"They are the thriftiest of the three generations out there," he explained.
 
  

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"I was surprised when I went into a couple of stores," said Keitha Delles, a shopper. "I think it was at least a week or two ago, and they were already putting out all the things." 

It's hard to say if it really is earlier than normal - whatever 'normal' is at this point - but one store did tell us it set up a little early, and shoppers were happy.

"Actually, I've had a lot of guests come up to me and ask,'Do you have Christmas set already?' And I'm like, Yeah it's in our back corner!" said Mary Ann Vanicek of Target.

For stores, time lost is money lost when it comes to the holidays.

"If we waited as retailers until you felt like going out and shopping, which may not be for most guys until the week before Christmas, the wallet would be gone," said Bob Phibbs, of the web site 'Retail Doctor.'

To help get to those wallets, some stores will again rely on layaway this year. 

After being out of fashion for many years, layaway has made a comeback, and people in their 20s are the ones taking advantage of it.

"They are the thriftiest of the three generations out there, three or four generations out there. So they are the ones looking to make every paycheck go," Phibbs said.

 

Thursday, April 24, 2014
, Watertown, NY

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