Stores offer holiday sales earlier than normal

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - Stores are getting ready to push the holiday shopping season. In some stores it already looks like a Christmas wonderland, with still three weeks left before Black Friday.

"We have definitely been aware all season that thanksgiving fell a week later," said Danielle Flores, a store manager for Target.

With six fewer days on the shopping countdown to the Christmas holiday, stores are trying to make up time.

"You'll start seeing some good deals even as soon as now," explained Flores.

Shoppers tell WMBF News they understand why stores are pushing for people to get a head start with their shopping cart.

"I work in retail," said shopper Katie Kraft. "So I know you have to meet your numbers from last year, earlier."

"I think it does make sense," said Savannah Talley, who enjoys shopping early with her family. "It's about the same time they would start around the same time as usual."

Stores are unleashing big sales a month earlier than usual, and they certainly want you to know about it. Analysts predict this season will have the most promotions since 2008, which doesn't sound like a bad deal for shoppers.

"The sales this year are definitely going to get us going earlier," Talley said.

"If I find something on sale now. I'm going to buy it, so I don't have to do shopping on Black Friday," Kraft said.

Store managers say they're counting on shoppers to take advantage.

"We don't know what to expect at this point," Flores said. "But we are definitely planning that we'll see some more guests that week before Thanksgiving."

And when the holiday items go up, so do the job postings. For the job seekers, retail seems to be the way to go. Careerbuilder.com says more retail managers will be hiring this year than the past two years.

WMBF News checked in with some of the big stores in the area to see who's hiring right now: JCPenney is accepting applications, and its local stores will add 20 percent to the staff for the holidays. Toys 'R' Us plans to hire 415 employees across its 10 stores in South Carolina, including the one in Myrtle Beach. Walmart is also hiring, and will move some of its temporary employees to part-time and full-time.

Several stores need the additional help for one of the busiest shopping times of the year.

"Obviously here in Myrtle Beach, it's summer time and it's Christmas time," Flores said. "So we're definitely getting things ready this week in anticipation of having some guest shopping before Thanksgiving this year."

Most stores are hiring through November. Applicants can walk in and apply in store, or online.

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