Stores hang holiday tinsel early
NEW YORK — Retailers are pumping still more energy this year into trying to get shoppers to loosen their purse strings early for Christmas, rolling out sparkly ornaments, holiday music, and special prices, all in July.
Target Corp. is entering the game for the first time, with a one-day online sale starting Friday on 500 items from clothing to Blu-ray disc players.
Sears and Toys “R’’ Us are dramatically promoting “Christmas in July’’ online based on the success they saw in last year’s efforts.
“We really wanted to create that sense of excitement, that sense of urgency,’’ said Target spokeswoman Molly Hanus.
Retailers pushed Christmas promotions as early as September during the recession as they tried to get shoppers back into stores.
Some recession-weary shoppers have been glad to spread out the cost of the holidays, especially if discounts average 40 percent like Target’s. But others may be turned off by the snowflakes and Santas and glitz.
“It’s smarter to buy this early,’’ said Ebony Rios, 17, of Clayton, N.C., shopping over the weekend at Toys “R’’ Us in Times Square. Rios said she spent $200 on gifts at the store’s online summer sale last year and plans to take advantage again this year.