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Starting the Holiday Season Early

Eager to expand the holiday shopping season without provoking consumers, retailers are experimenting with a novel approach: earlier-than-ever advertising that deliberately plays down the tinsel and holly.

Shattering records for an early start, Wal-Mart is cutting prices on toys in mid-October, but the company is not calling it a holiday sale. L. L. Bean has started advertising free shipping — but it is shying away from the H word. And Toys “R” Us is marketing a temporary store in Manhattan, but consumers have to study ads to find the name: Holiday Express.

The furtive marketing campaigns are intended to jump-start what stores expect to be a listless buying season, one dragged down by economic jitters and large-scale toy recalls.

More at the New York Times.

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Elaine Misonzhnik

Senior associate editor Elaine Misonzhnik has been writing for National Real Estate Investor since June 2006 and has covered commercial real estate for more than 12 years. She first became...
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