Holiday displays already are popping up—and they’re likely to increase in number and urgency as retailers try to spruce up what’s likely to be the worst Christmas shopping season in years, reports Advertising Age. With 5 fewer days than last year because of a late Thanksgiving, retailers are scared. “This year we'll certainly see promotions before Thanksgiving,” one analyst said.
Sales have been slow for much of the year and projections for the holiday season—just 2.2% growth—are the lowest since 2002, raising concerns that a second wave of bankruptcies could follow in 2009. “It's almost an arms race,” one marketing exec says, “and you're not going to want to be the person that's not well-positioned.”