If you start seeing Santa Claus in window displays before you've even stocked up on Halloween candy, don't worry. You haven't overslept.
Christmas is coming to stores even earlier this year. In fact, you may have noticed that holiday cheer has been coming to a retail store near you a little earlier ever year.
USA TODAY reports: "More than 37% of shoppers -- and 42% of women -- plan to do some holiday shopping by Halloween, reports an NRF consumer survey. Retailers are happy to oblige as they chase the estimated $450 billion of holiday spending."
So which retail chains have already jumped the gun? Costco started rolling out their red and green on September 1, Home Depot is scheduled for September 19, Kmart and Sears for September 25, and Walmart and J.C. Penney by month's end.
You can also buy an inflatable snowman or two at Lowe's starting October 1. But to think, you could have stocked up on fake mistletoe from A.C. Moore as far back as August!
If you're interested in trading on the trend, we list nine (one for each reindeer) retail companies below that have had encouraging profitability trends during the most recent quarter, while at the same time reducing leverage in their capital structure.
Is this a signal of more good news to come during this year's holiday season? (Click here to access free, interactive tools to analyze these ideas.)
3. Shuffle Master
4. JAKKS Pacific
6. Ross Stores
7. Abercrombie & Fitch
8. Jos. A Bank Clothiers
9. Destination Maternity
List compiled by Eben Esterhuizen.
Interactive Chart: Press Play to compare changes in analyst ratings over the last two years for the stocks mentioned above. Analyst ratings sourced from Zacks Investment Research.
Kapitall's Becca Lipman and Eben Esterhuizen do not own any of the shares mentioned above. Data sourced from Fidelity.
The Motley Fool owns shares of Wal-Mart Stores and Costco Wholesale. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Wal-Mart Stores and Costco Wholesale. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended creating a diagonal call position in Wal-Mart Stores.
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