CENTRAL ILLINOIS– There are six fewer shopping days between Thanksgiving and Christmas this year than last. Area retailers are starting the holiday shopping earlier and by earlier we mean Friday.
Walmart says it will launch its online “deal drop” sales at midnight Friday. The retailer says it wants its customers to make the most of the shorter season. Local shoppers say holiday sales starting in October seems daunting.
“Yeah, didn’t really think about that so my mind isn’t really wrapped around holiday shopping at this point,” said Joe Kapp.
But with six fewer days for stores to collect sales, local retailers hope you choose to spend your dollars in town.
“We know dollars turn over seven times if spent locally,” said President Jeff Griffin with the Peoria Area Chamber of Commerce. “So when you think of a dollar turning over seven times with whatever you’re buying then that means more haircuts, more oil changes, more grocery shopping and it just stays local. That tax base is so imperative to what we’re trying to do as a city.”
Shoppers say it should be a healthy mix of shopping locally and online.
“I definitely think there’s a need for spending locally and it’s very important,” said Kapp. “It’s gotta be a mix. Every small business can’t support what everybody’s looking for and the convenience of online really comes to the forefront so anytime you can shop local, I’m all for that.”
Whether we like to admit it or not, it’s time for the holiday shopping spree to begin. So before you check out with your items think twice about supporting small businesses.
“Those are the ones you go to church with and little league with and all these other things so we need to support one another more than ever,” said Griffin.
Of course, local shops can’t fill every need or want. Best Buy is helping shoppers make a quick buy. The retailer will have free next-day deliveries during the holiday season.