Ready or Not Retailers are Ready 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.  That has been the case for Dillard's in Jonesboro, but the store is taking a proactive approch to 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 also has pre-Christmas markdowns, plus a new holiday section.

Christmas sales are vital for most retail outlets.

"November and December account for 25% of our total yearly 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, which makes them optimistic about Christmas sales.

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

Local jelwery stores are also preparing 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 Janice Cranford of Camden & Co.

Investors may also have a happy Christmas.  Retail sales for the month of October were the strongest since May.