Christmas Creeps Up on Consumers

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The holiday season is a marathon of sales and shopping. A trend has developed over the years, one experts have deemed the Christmas Creep.

This widening of the Christmas season is the result of retailers hoping to compete for early profits.

"We are a middle America store and the customer has only so much disposable income at a time," says JCPenney Assistant Manager Grace Combs. "They come in and as they have the time to purchase something they kind of prioritize what their buying is and they do it along the way. You know they don't buy all of their Christmas decorations the first time they see them so they have the opportunity to be able to buy throughout the season. I look at the season being a little bit longer not as a bad thing but as an option for the customer."

Some consumers are disgruntled by the continuous flow of early advertising, but say the deals are worth it. Many take advantage of early shopping days to avoid the crowds after Thanksgiving.

"As far as advertising for Christmas I'm not a big fan of it, but I'm not a scrooge either," says shopper Reyes Figueroa. "I mean my wife loves it so I'm OK with it."

Today mall officials even set up Santa's Symphony. Where children can wait to sit in Santa's lap during the holiday season.

Stores are preparing behind the scenes as well for the biggest shopping day of the season, Black Friday.

"We are expecting it to be better even than last year. We've seen a strong presence of customers in the market are purchasing and are planning and looking," says Combs. "We feel very optimistic about the Christmas season."

A recent survey shows nearly o1/3 of consumers began their shopping before the end of October. Consumers shouldn't expect this trend to change anytime in the near future, but some welcome the early season.

"I love it. I love Christmas time. It's my favorite time of year," says shopper Tyler Stemple.

It's evident many share that sentiment as Christmas music and holiday cheer were in abundance at Grand Central Mall.

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