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Cecile Corral

Early holiday specials everywhere

November 7, 2008

Holiday shopping doesn’t begin to consume me until the long Thanksgiving weekend. The frenzied crowds boost my adrenaline and spur my credit card spending.


But this year is already different, and we’ve only just stepped into November.


Many retailers have been wooing my wallet since Halloween.


Pottery Barn and its several nameplates, for example, email me sale updates daily — sometimes multiple times in one afternoon.


L.L. Bean, my preferred catalog for Christmas gifts, has successfully lured me with its $10 gift card for every $50 I spend (and I’ve spent enough for two gift cards, I’ll admit).


Kmart and Sears announced last week their pre-Black Friday sales and the return of their layaway programs (and I plan to check them out early this weekend.)


JCPenney’s online home page boasts "the biggest sale of them all" with 30% to 60% off in all departments as well as free shipping on purchases of $69 or more. (My sister-in-law went last weekend to take advantage of this deal.) is promoting its new Amazon Visa credit card by crediting shoppers $30 upon sign up — but I didn’t bite. (I maintain control by keeping just one credit card.)


And Kohl’s has added "Power Hours" to its schedule this weekend — 3 p.m. to midnight Friday and 6 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday — and buttered the offer with 15% to 30% off certain goods when shoppers use the store’s credit card. (That will be my next stop this weekend.)


But these abundant deals — and many others — aren’t the only reason I’ve begun my holiday shopping spree.


I’m afraid of a potential lack of inventory. Most, if not all, retailers have said they are cutting back on inventory, adjusting their product mixes to better suit the weak economy and expected slower holiday traffic.


While this could create cut-throat competition among last-minute shoppers, especially in toy departments, I see the early start to the holiday spending season as a win-win.