Stores explain: Why are holiday decorations already on the shelves?

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It’s only about four months until Christmas.

For some companies, that means the wheels are turning to get all the holiday decorations and merchandise ready.

The Chicago Tribune reports that the National Retail Federation says about 40 percent of customers begin their holiday shopping before Halloween.

For some companies, getting the merchandise out early is necessary to ensure that it all actually gets stocked on store shelves.

A spokesperson for Hobby Lobby tells the Chicago Tribune that their company has two seasons: spring and winter holidays.

Spokesperson Bob Miller said stores will carry nearly 8,000 different holiday items just this year. And the large amount of merchandise can’t be processed by stores in a short window of time. So, stocking shelves with the Christmas items early helps the stores accommodate all the new merchandise, Miller told the Chicago Tribune.

For many companies, the planning for Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas start months in advance and seem to kick off on Labor Day.

Some companies like Hallmark say that for them, the holidays start in mid-July.

Meanwhile, Home Depot in late July begins to offer holiday decorations online for those who plan months in advance.

Read more here.