Sep. 23, 2011 at 11:50 AM ET
At shopping malls and big-box stores, it seems Christmas comes earlier and earlier every year.
Retailers claim they are simply responding to consumer demand. "Forty percent of our consumers that we surveyed have told us that they're shopping for the Christmas holidays already," said Mike Gatti of the National Retail Federation.
But retailers have other motivations, too. Concerns are growing that the global economy could be headed into another recession, and retailers did not exactly have a scintillating holiday season last year. The more sales they can lock up early, the easier the nation's retail executives will breathe.
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