Target and Best Buy Start Holiday Shopping Early
PORTLAND, Ore. (TheStreet) -- How tough are times at your local retailer? It all depends on how much holiday spirit they're showing this summer.
We haven't even reached Labor Day yet and the nation's more desperate retailers are already trying to tap into a shallow supply of holiday shoppers. Costco
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Last month, Target
What do all of those stores have in common? A steep and seemingly endless decline. Sears has closed 80 of its flagship and Kmart stores this year, spun off its Land's End and recorded its 29th-consecutive quarterly loss. That's more than seven years of straight-up losses. Best Buy, meanwhile, continues to watch same-store sales decline as its efforts to turn its big-box electronics stores into mini malls for its best brands continues to fall short. Target has continued its descent from cheap-chic U.S. retail darling of the '90s and earl 2000s to a faceless discounter as same-store sales drop and a data breach further tarnished the store's shabby post-recession image.
Sadly, news wasn't all that better for these three companies in the fourth quarter of 2013 -- you know, when they held their actual "Black Friday" sales on Thanksgiving day. With the battle for those big fourth-quarter holiday shopping dollars backfiring spectacularly, their plan now seems to involve spreading holiday cheer over as many quarters as possible.
Good luck with that.
According to Google Consumer Surveys, only 49% of all potential holiday shoppers had even begun thinking of doing their holiday shopping by this time last year. Of those, 9% said they would begin shopping before Labor Day. Another 21% said they would start checking off holiday wish lists by Halloween. That's 30% of all active holiday shoppers hitting stores and Web sites before November, but only a sliver hunting for gifts while notebooks and pens still fill the seasonal aisles.