Holiday Shopping Season Begins Early

October 16, 2008 6:33:23 PM PDT
Have you started holiday shopping yet? A growing number of people are making a budget and checking it twice.The days of buying extravagant holiday gifts like cars are taking a backseat to discount stores like Target and Wal-Mart this year as people look for ways to be smarter when it comes to buying presents.

These Halloween decorations are nestled next to all this Christmas decorations at this Target in River Park.

In fact, the National Retail Federation says 40% of Americans will start their holiday shopping now, before Halloween. That includes Fresno's Tracie Fierro.

Tracie Fierro said, "The economy is so bad but that's why I want to get started now so I can still spend the same amount that I always do. You don't want any surprises come December? No! I don't want to pull out the credit card and start going crazy."

With 69 shopping days left before Christmas, Lillian Scwartz started her shopping.

Lillian Schwartz said, "We have a budget that we figure we're gonna spend so much for Christmas as we try to be very careful and stay in that budget. I do not like to have credit cards coming afterwards."

But surprisingly, the study predicts that people won't cut back on holiday spending with the average household spending more than 832-dollars on gifts. That's an increase of 2-percent from last year.

Local Economist Henry Nishimoto isn't buying in to that prediction.

Henry Nishimoto said, "Consumers are really worried about their income, jobs, the economy in general. I think they're going to be very tight with their money this holiday season."

Economists say retailers are desperate for your business and many of them will try to lure you in with big-time bargains ... like Sams Club! Friday it will begin a holiday promotion offering a $10.00 membership for the next 10 weeks.

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