Sears is taking the “Christmas in July” trope to a whole new level. With June retail sales tumbling, the company is looking for a boost by selling actual Christmas products, Time reports. Soon, 372 Sears stores will roll out displays hawking tree ornaments, stocking stuffers, and other decidedly off-season wares. Online, Kmart and Sears invites customers to “Shop Christmas Lane.”
“Customers told us they wish they had seen some of our merchandise earlier,” said a Sears spokeswoman. “People are buying earlier.” Many analysts think the buzz generated by the unusual move is a reward in and of itself. But others say it sends the wrong message. “It looks more like desperation than inspiration,” said one retail-group exec.