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Merry Thanksgivoween*

Credit Mike Thompson of the Detroit Free Press, who came up a cartoon featuring a banner in front of a house with this phony holiday with the subhead, “Sept. 1 thru Jan. 1.” It’s a reminder to all retailers and manufacturers that while consumers love bargains, but please don’t rush the seasons.

When our senior editor Alan Wolf e-mailed me the cartoon it reminded me that I saw a report on TV last week about “very early holiday promotions” by national retailers for all types of merchandise, not just CE, due to the softer-than-normal summer season and they have to make up volume, according to a retail expert they quoted.

For example, when I went to the local Walgreen’s near TWICE’s office in midtown Manhattan after Labor Day I saw candy, costumes and decorations for Halloween. (back to school merchandise appeared there during the last week of July.) Of course the home shopping channels are the worst, doing “Christmas In July” shows, but I noticed a TV ad or two in the New York area last week.

Now the national chains will do what they must do to drive traffic. But for you regional retailers, especially the operations who know your customers by sight and maybe by first name, remember what one woman said to the TV reported on that report I saw. She was asked if she’d rush into a store a week before Halloween for a Christmas bargain and she yelled, “PLEASE! I don’t even think about Christmas shopping until Thanksgiving!”

Yeah, it’s an unscientific reaction, just one from the gut, but sometimes you have to trust that feeling in your stomach.