Sears sets up mid-summer Christmas displays - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Sears sets up mid-summer Christmas displays

CHICAGO, Ill. - At a time when most retailers are offering specials on lawn mowers and BBQ grills, Sears is getting a jump on Christmas.

Currently, there are displays in 372 stores, but the intent is clear; get customers thinking about the biggest shopping season of the year and then to drive them online to Sears.com.

"Sears, like all retailers, they're struggling right now in terms of getting consumers into their stores. Consumers are being very very wary, they are very very anxious, being very very cautious about what they spend their money on," says business expert Monee Fields-White.

Typically Christmas displays don't start popping up until after Halloween and customers aren't sure what to make of this one.

"A little too early," said one shopper.

"If they have good prices then I am pretty sure people will like to take advantage of it," added another.

Sears says it had some success last year when it revived its long forgotten layaway program both at its own stores and at K-Mart as an alternative to credit cards.

"This is just another way for them to say, 'Hey we're here, we're here for the consumer and we need to generate sales," says Fields-White.

Traditionally this is a time when most stores are preparing for their next biggest shopping season, back to school, but if displays like this one are successful, expect to see more stores starting Christmas in July.

Sears is already offering free shipping when customers spend more than $75 at its online Christmas site.
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