Local Retailers Gear Up for Christmas

November 4, 2004 -- Posted at 6:15 p.m. CST

Jonesboro, AR -- Halloween was just last week, and we haven't even celebrated Thanksgiving yet, but as far as retailers are concerned it's Christmas time!

Take a stroll though just about any retail store and you'll notice the pre-Christmas push. Especially if sales have been sluggish, as has been the case for Dillard's in Jonesboro. However; the store is taking a proactive approch to their sales before Christmas.

"For the first time ever Dillard's has put out a big 8 page mailer," said Dilliard's store manager Karen Gray.

The store is also having pre-Christmas markdowns, plus they have a new hoiday section. Christmas sales are vital for most retail outlets.

"November and December account for 25% of our total year sales," said Gray.

Santa is also trying get a head start this year. We spoke to a few of his Jonesboro based helpers at J. Christopher toy store. They say toys on lay-a-way are piled to the ceiling. Toys to the ceiling on November 4th makes for an optimistic attitude.

"I think we're going to have a great year," said store owner Jill Jernign.

Local jelwery stores are also gearing up for what they hope will be an early Christmas retail rush.

"We'll have inventory coming in each week for Christmas. We'll have inventory coming in all the way up to Christmas Eve," said store manager of Camden & Co.

Investors could find reason for optimism in sales numbers posted by retail chains Thursday. By one measure, October chain store sales were the strongest since May, giving hope for the holiday shopping season.