Holiday shopping procrastinators -- Beware! A quirk in the calendar means this year's holiday shopping season (from Thanksgiving to Christmas) has six less days than last year's season. Coupled with the fact that 33 percent of Americans admit to delaying their shopping until the last minute, and you've got the potential for disappointment on Christmas -- unless you have a shopping strategy.
Sears, which has helped fulfill Christmas morning wishes for more than 100 years, offers several tips to maximize your shopping experience during this shortened holiday season.
1. Shop stores that allow you to cross off several names from your holiday shopping list. Don't waste precious shopping time driving from store to store when you can find gifts for everyone under one roof. Save the wear and tear on your car and your nerves by shopping a store like Sears that offers gift ideas ranging from electronics, home fashions, apparel, jewelry, fitness equipment, gardening and tools. In addition, more than 80 Sears stores across the nation also have a KB Toy Store during the holiday season to assist Santa. 2. Don't allow hunger to derail your shopping game plan. Fend off hunger pangs while waiting in line. You'll keep both your morale and energy high by packing a couple of small snacks and water in your purse or coat and recharging while waiting for the cashier. This will also save you from standing in one more line to buy something to eat. 3. Accept expert advice on great gift ideas. One key reason people put off their holiday shopping? They're short on gift ideas. This year, Sears is helping to eliminate some of the mystery behind what makes a great gift by offering its "35 Holiday Wish List" items. Sears buyers have predicted these items will elicit oohs and aahs on Christmas morning and be hot sellers in 2002. The list will be featured in a Dec. 1 circular appearing in newspapers nationwide and will also be flagged on Sears.com. All items will be available at Sears store, on the web site, and in Sears catalogs. 4. Move your holiday shopping experience into the 21st Century. The internet is one of the season's greatest time savers. If traveling to the stores during your lunch hour isn't practical, log on to your favorite store's website. In the time it would take to drive to the store, you can purchase and ship several gifts. And if you aren't shipping the item out of town, many stores, including Sears, allow you to order on line and then visit the store to pick up the pre-purchased item. 5. Help sales associates help you. If you absolutely have to have that great gift you saw in a store's ad, bring the ad with you to the store so the sales associate can quickly point you in the right direction for finding the specific item. 6. Practice spreading holiday cheer in the parking lot. Yes, it does feel like five cars are competing for every one parking spot. But exercise patience with your fellow drivers and don't allow "parking rage" to dampen the spirit of the season. Smile, take a deep breath, and consider letting the car behind you have that perfect spot -- you'll enter the store in a better mood since you provided a great gift to a stranger. Also, parking further from the entrance is a great way to get some exercise! 7. Realize you'll unintentionally forget a few people. Nothing is more maddening than having to head back to the stores after you thought you had finished your shopping. Recognize that with all the hustle and bustle of the compressed holiday season, you'll inadvertently forget to purchase gifts for a couple of friends. To be prepared, purchase a few extra gift cards and have them on hand. If it turns out you truly did remember everyone, then you can reward yourself by using the cards on gifts for you after the holidays.
So don't let the shortened season catch you off guard as these tips will easily help make up for those lost shopping days. And cheer up -- we won't see this shortened holiday season again until 2013!
Sears, Roebuck and Co. is a broadline retailer with significant service and credit businesses. In 2001, the company's annual revenue was more than $41 billion. The company offers its wide range of apparel, home and automotive products and services to families in the U.S. through Sears stores nationwide, including approximately 870 full-line stores. Sears also offers a variety of merchandise and services through its Web site, www.sears.com. In June 2002, Sears acquired Lands' End, a direct merchant of traditionally styled, classic Lands' End clothing offered to customers around the world through regular mailings of its specialty catalogs and online at www.landsend.com.
SOURCE: Sears, Roebuck and Co.
CONTACT: Mark Newman of Hunter Public Relations, +1-212-679-6600, ext.
213; or Kathleen M. Connolly of Sears, Roebuck, and Co., +1-847-286-4644
Web site: http://www.sears.com/