LEE COUNTY, Fla. - It may be hard to believe, but the holiday shopping season officially started Friday, Oct. 29. Several major retailers offered the first of their so-called "Black Friday" shopping deals for Christmas - and they did so two days before Halloween. More deals and offers will follow in the weeks before Thanksgiving.
"I like it, because it cuts down on lines later on," said Marilee Scott, outside the Toys-R-Us store in Fort Myers. "I like to get an early start, spread out the spending, and get it done."
The offers are being carried on the website: www.cyberblackfriday.com
It offers a $20 coupon on-line for Sears purchases, plus deals for other retailers. Macy's announced special holiday gift deals, starting Oct. 29. The site says Wal-Mart and Target, among others, will announce Black Friday deals in coming weeks.
"I believe it is way too early for that," said Mary Scott. "I like to have our thanksgiving first, and then focus on celebrating the Christmas holiday. These companies just want to get their sales early, they want to get the money."
It could have an effect on the stores that specialize in holiday items, like Christmas Palace at the Shell Factory in No. Ft. Myers. Kathy Vanderjagt of the Shell Factory told us: "I am not too worried about the early start of the big retailers, because our gifts are so different and eclectic. I believe we will do fine, without the early start to the deals and so forth."
Lee County shopper Heather Creighton told WINK: "I like the early deals. Time gets so tight during the holidays, it is good to start early. I know the retailers want to get their money fast, they are being very aggressive now, but they have to be. That's because everyone wants a deal these days."