TODAY   |  August 23, 2013

Too early? Christmas creep hits stores in August

Retailers aren’t waiting until the end of bikini season to start rolling out their holiday decorations, with major chains like Costco, Michael’s and Hobby Lobby stocking up on Santas. NBC’s Janet Shamlian reports.

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>>> going to get them for christmas ?

>> if you think it's too early, think again. janet is at costco in houston texas . good morning to you.

>> matt and savannah, good morning. it's going to be 95 degrees here but if you're looking for pool toys or a beach towel , forget about that. they don't stock those right now. here is what you can buy. with 4 months until the holiday it's all about christmas .

>> reporter: the lazy days of august, the sun, the surf, the trees, the tinsel? it's beginning to look a lot like christmas

>> reporter: it maybe the dog days of summer but inside the nation's biggest retail stores there's a yuletide feel. 40% of americans admit to starting their holiday shopping before halloween but selling santa during bikini season? it's almost like the grinch stole summer. why so early? competition for holiday dollars is cut throat. retailers worry if they don't start now they'll lose out.

>> they want to be the first place that consumers spend their money on getting into that holiday spirit even well in advance of the holiday season .

>> take a look at costco . a front lawn frosty, rudolph, holiday wrapping and ribbon.

>> everything is moving.

>> hobby lobby is stocked for santa. so is sam's club. here's what it looks like inside michaels and wall street announced it's free holiday lay away .

>> we should have christmas every day of the year. i love christmas . that's my favorite holiday .

>> and for those people, there's a store for that, like this one near miami where you can do your christmas shopping year round.

>> we have everything ranging from christmas trees to elves to nutcrackers torain deer.

>> for the rest of us it's still summer but with all the december decor, what did they do with the beach towels?

>> now for their part the folks at costco say they have always been early in and early out with seasonal merchandise. if you're looking for a lawn frosty in mid december you won't find it but you maybe able to buy a bathing suit.

>> thank you so much. i'm impressed by people that plan that early.

>> i saw some halloween displays the other day and i thought that was pushing it. this is ridiculous.