Black Friday is often viewed as the start of the holiday shopping season, but business experts say it’s already in full swing this year.
“The holiday season is underway … spreading that holiday season out is something that employers and retailers and shops and merchants have been focused on, probably since Halloween,” said Kris Johnson, president and CEO of the Association of Washington Business.
Data from the National Retail Federation suggests holiday shopping started even earlier than Halloween this year, with retail sales rising 10.6% this October compared to last year (not including auto or gas sales). And 42% of people surveyed by the NRF said they had started their seasonal shopping in October.
Renée Sunde, president and CEO of the Washington Retail Association, says this trend is likely directly related to the pandemic.
WA Retail Association says now is time to give back to small businesses
“This is probably a holiday season that is going to last longer than most, and that’s because a lot of retailers started the process of offering sales early,” she said. “And the purpose of that was to spread out the shopping season to make it more safe for customers.”
But a longer shopping season does not necessarily guarantee financial success, especially for small businesses that have been trying to survive during a pandemic.
“We can’t begin to express how important it is to support local, and how important probably the next 45 days are to local businesses, and their employees, and the communities they call home,” Johnson said.
For these businesses,

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