Black Friday three weeks away, but sales already on - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Black Friday three weeks away, but sales already on

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By Jennifer Emert - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) –  Employers are likely adding more workers because the National Retail Federation is predicting an increase in holiday spending.

Some retailers are starting their holiday sales well in advance of Black Friday which is still three weeks away. K-Mart started its 3-Day Better Than Black Friday sale and Sears has started sales already.

Don't check your calendar, we know Black Friday isn't for another three weeks, but some retailers like K-Mart, Old Navy, and Sears are already jumping the gun with Black Friday now, sales. Economists say it gets customers ready to shop.

"Jumping ahead means to create awareness for customers to start seeing the products to start drawing customers into the shopping places and to play on the psychology of consumers that Christmas is here," said Dr. Amaechi Nwaokoro, Economic Professor at Albany State University.

While the holiday circulars are making the rounds, retailers like JC Penney aren't pushing holiday sales yet. This time of year they know it's temperatures that drive customers sales and with temps in the 90's no ones looking for a sweater.

"Up until today it's been a struggle because all retailers have been basically set for fall with heavy weight merchandise, sweaters, flannel, coats," said Joseph Iles, JC Penney Store Manager.

With temperatures dipping this weekend they say it will be the first time retailers get a chance to see what customers might be thinking. Those we talked to say they're working on getting in the holiday shopping mood.

"Last year I was, last minute doing everything, couldn't get what I wanted, so I said I'm going to get it early this time," said Tiaminka Jones, a shopper.

Retailers may have to wait another three weeks to get shoppers started and it's their own fault. With Black Friday blowouts they've conditioned shoppers to a start of the holiday buying.

"I think we've conditioned America to shop that way and so that's kind of what happens," said Iles.

They know ultimately it takes shoppers sometimes up to 15 days before Christmas to start thinking about gift giving for mom, dad, and other family members.

With a tougher economy consumers will often do a lot more comparison shopping, meaning they'll shop at several stores for the same item, looking for the best price before they're willing to buy.

The National Retail Federation is estimating holiday sales to rise more than two percent this year and total more than 447-billion dollars.


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