Shorter Shopping Season

With six fewer days between Thanksgiving and Christmas this year stores are making sure people are thinking about shopping.

Free layaway starting in September, Christmas decorations up before Thanksgiving, and Black Friday really starting on Thursday night: These are just some of the tactics stores are using to get consumers spending.

“Every year the season gets a little earlier, so as you can see we have all our Christmas decorations out so people can get an early start to their holiday season this year,” said Greg Azarkinsky, Store Manager for Walmart in Naperville. “So they can come here for all their decoration needs and we have great deals on toys and TVs, things that people shop for all season.”

Retailers depend on fourth quarter sales being high, but competition on Black Friday is fierce causing stores to open earlier and offer better deals.

“The mall opens at eight o’clock at night,” said Lisa DeVries, Marketing Director for Westfield Fox Valley. “All of our department stores Macy’s, JC Penny, Sears, and Carson’s will be opening at eight as well as 50% of the mall. The rest of the mall opens at midnight.”

Downtown Naperville is also trying to get shoppers in the holiday spirit. The lights are already on and Christmas decorations are up to support local businesses.

“We need people to come and support us because we offer more than the gift they’re buying. We’re a community,” said Sue Finck, Owner of Little Luxuries.

Room 363 along with Little Luxuries will be holding a holiday market the weekend after Thanksgiving where customers can browse what local businesses have to offer.

“We’re going to have artisans with hand crafted products as well as businesses downtown advertising what they sell,” said Mark Norkaitis, Owner of Room 363.

If crowds aren’t your thing stores like Sears and Kmart are allowing “shop your way” customers to access Black Friday deals one week early online, and Cyber Monday deals are expected to be better than last year.

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