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Late Thanksgiving threatens holiday shopping season

By Michael Hennessey
Published On: Nov 13 2013 05:51:25 PM CST
GREENVILLE, PITT COUNTY -

Thanksgiving is just a couple weeks away. However, this year, it's actually coming late.

The North Carolina Retail Merchants Association says as a result, the retail industry is losing 6 days out of their most important buying season.

"You're either going to make your bottom line, or you're not and you need those shopping weekends," said Josie Harz, owner of Serendipity Boutique in Greenville. "If you're ending your year on a negative note, it doesn't start your year off very cheerful."

In hopes of counteracting the shortened season, many local business owners are beginning their Christmas sales early. "We are offering holiday specials, discounts, refreshments, and we're gonna be doing that a few times throughout the holiday season," said Harz.

Shoppers have become aware that this holiday shopping season is going to be different than in past years. "I think it's gonna affect them greatly, you can see it, there's a lot more sales, I mean even just in Michael's they have Christmas stuff 40 percent off already," said shopper Brooke Kays.

Experts say about 20-40 percent of the retail industry's annual revenue comes from November and December sales. They also expect online sales to jump about 20 percent, resulting in about half of holiday shoppers doing their buying online.