Shop Talk

Retailers, consumers and prices

Some retailers hope for Christmas magic

July 17, 2009

Santa’s not getting any rest this year.

After U.S. retailers posted the longest running decline in same-store sales in nearly a decade, Sears, Kmart and Toys R Us announced Christmas-themed sales for the month of July.  While actual sale dates and locations vary among the three chains, the event has drawn a lot of attention from news media, which had the once-in-a-year joy of headlining a story with “Christmas in July.”

Not to be outdone, Disney has sent a train to 36 states around the country to promote its new animated film “A Christmas Carol,” slated for release this November.  Yes, November.

The re-purposed Amtrak train is filled to the brim with Disney Christmas items, the latest in cinematic 3D audio and video equipment, a lot of HP computers, and even artifacts on loan from the Charles Dickens Museum.  Oh, and it has a picture of Ebeneezer Scrooge on the front.

Whether any of these campaigns will work is anyone’s guess.  But for now, at least, it gives us all a chance to laugh and play and maybe even listen to some Bing Crosby records.


Hallmark put out their christmas ornaments last weekend, which they do every July. Locally, at least, same-store sales were up ~10%.


I fear the worst for the Christmas sales, many consumers may have spent the little financial reserves they had before the holiday season starts.


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