In response to sluggish Thanksgiving Day sales and this year’s unusually brief shopping season, several major retailers have announced they are moving Christmas to Dec. 31 to allow an extra week of gift-buying.
Walmart, Macy’s and Best Buy have all officially made the date change, and other large retailers are expected to follow suit. The move is in response to initial figures showing Thanksgiving Day sales are down 7.4 percent from last year. This year’s outlook is especially dim because the shopping season is a mere 26 days due to Thanksgiving Day falling late.
Many retailers are worried that low sales could hamper their ability to pay employees.
“The bottom line is staff,” said Tamara Cormier, spokesperson for the National Retail Federation. “In an economy as large as ours, even a slight decrease in sales can mean hundreds of millions of dollars in lost profit. In all honesty, retailers truly want to pay their employees, so postponing Christmas by a week is a viable solution.”
In response to the Christmas date change, several manufacturers of party supplies like balloons, streamers, noisemakers and sunglasses in the shape of “2014” are said to be considering moving New Year’s Eve to Jan. 3.