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Some stores already pulling out Christmas merchandise

AvSwartz 14 months Taylor Mill cries Santa's lap Thomas More College annual Winter Wonderlevent Ky. Wed Dec. 2 2009 Crestview

Ava Swartz, 14 months, of Taylor Mill cries on Santa's lap at the Thomas More College annual Winter Wonderland event in Ky. on Wed Dec. 2, 2009 in Crestview Hills, Ky. (AP Photo/The Enquirer, Ernest Coleman)

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Updated: May 9, 2012 9:47AM

Santa’s becoming a September fixture at chain stores.

Christmas merchandise has been at Costco stores since Sept. 1 and will begin showing up on some Home Depot shelves Sept. 19.

Kmart and Sears will begin selling Christmas trimmings Sept. 25.

After rolling out Christmas merchandise in mid-October the past few years, this year Wal-Mart will start in late September, spokeswoman Tara Raddohl says. So will J.C. Penney.

JoAnn Fabric has had holiday fabrics on its shelves since July.

“Retailers are putting out a little bit of holiday stuff earlier each year,” says Mike Gatti of the National Retail Federation. “They know a substantial number of consumers will pick out Christmas tree ornaments even as they’re picking out Halloween pumpkins.”

More than 37 percent of shoppers — and 42 percent of women — plan to do some holiday shopping by Halloween, a survey by the retail federation found.

Customers like having holiday merchandise available early so they can space out their purchases, Home Depot spokeswoman Jen King says.

Nordstrom is one chain that’s bucking the trend. “It’s been our long-standing tradition to not decorate our stores for the holidays until after Thanksgiving,” spokeswoman Pamela Lopez says. “We believe in celebrating one holiday at a time.”

Gannett News Service

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