Earlier Holidays For Retailers
With the upcoming presidential election, rising energy and food costs and job fears threatening holiday consumer shopping, retailers are starting holiday pitches early. Wal-Mart said it would begin its holiday-layaway promotion just two weeks after Labor Day -- a full month early. A few days later, Toys R Us and Kmart said they'd do away with layaway fees altogether. A Neiman Marcus in Oak Brook, Ill., debuted a decked-out display of Christmas trees, collectibles and holiday decor in August.