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Christmas trees ALREADY on display as the Christmas season starts earlier than usual due to inflation

Christmas trees and other festive products have appeared in stores across the US four months ahead of the holiday – a premature start to the shopping season as Americans, feeling the pressure of inflation, try to stretch their budgets.

Shoppers were surprised this month when photos of the trees surfaced on social media – leading many to wonder why the evergreens commonly associated with the holidays were being chilled during the dog days of summer.

Staples from supermarkets like Costco, Sam’s Club and Walmart were among several stores staging what appeared to be premature August displays – with hardware giant Home Depot launching Christmas items as early as mid-July.

Still 118 days away, the holidays appear to be on the horizon at best for some – while others have called the early stocking “madness” and a “money grab” amid the recent US economic turmoil.

Conversely, some savvy buyers have embraced early stocking-up – using deals offered by outlets to incentivize consumers to buy the trees sooner than one would initially prefer.

But with winter still ending and Halloween two months away, the phenomenon speaks to the current sorry state of America’s economy, which has been hopelessly bogged down by inflation under President Joe Biden over the past year.

Christmas trees and other festive products have appeared in stores across the US four months ahead of the holiday - a premature start to the shopping season as Americans, feeling the pressure of inflation, try to stretch their budgets

Christmas trees and other festive products have appeared in stores across the US four months ahead of the holiday – a premature start to the shopping season as Americans, feeling the pressure of inflation, try to stretch their budgets

Currently, Costco is offering buyers both 7.5-foot and 12-foot Christmas trees priced at $499 and $1,149, respectively

Currently, Costco is offering buyers both 7.5-foot and 12-foot Christmas trees priced at $499 and $1,149, respectively

Currently, Costco is offering buyers both 7.5-foot and 12-foot Christmas trees priced at $499 and $1,149, respectively.

For those looking for something more subtle, the store also offers smaller, glowing options for just $140, with mid-range alternatives ranging from $200 to $800.

As the holidays get closer, those prices are more likely to rise — as major retailers like Walmart in Target have noted in recent weeks that consumers are pulling back on discretionary spending, instead prioritizing groceries and gas amid rising costs.

The summer holiday stock does not end there. The store also offers festive decorations such as Mickey Mouse Nutcracker statues priced at $119.99 for a set of two and Frosty the Snowman figures and effigies.

Shoppers across the country have posted photos of the rapidly popping up displays at major department stores trying to lure consumers with deals on decorating

Shoppers across the country have posted photos of the rapidly popping up displays at major department stores trying to lure consumers with deals on decorating

The store also offers festive decorations like Mickey Mouse Nutcracker statues priced at $119.99 for a set of two and Frosty the Snowman figures and effigies (pictured).

The store also offers festive decorations like Mickey Mouse Nutcracker statues priced at $119.99 for a set of two and Frosty the Snowman figures and effigies (pictured).

However, remember that to shop at Costco stores, you must pay for a membership, which will set you back $60 a year.

Many buyers expressed their cheers upon seeing the decorations early – while others didn’t sound nearly as pleased.

‘No! I’m not ready for Christmas yet,” one person commented on a photo of decorations at a Bay Area Costco that included Grinch ornaments.

Another wrote: “This makes me so happy I can’t wait to start decorating again.”

“Time to get that Costco membership,” chimed in a third.

Others found it amusing that the Christmas products were being stored in the middle of summer, four months before the big day.

“I saw Christmas trees at a Costco in July and ooooh I was pissed,” one Twitter poster joked.

For those looking for something more subtle, the store also offers smaller, lighted options for just $140, like these 4.5-foot models, with mid-size alternatives ranging from $200 to $800

For those looking for something more subtle, the store also offers smaller, lighted options for just $140, like these 4.5-foot models, with mid-size alternatives ranging from $200 to $800

Festive fir tree prices are likely to swell as the holiday season approaches - as major retailers have noted, consumers are withdrawing discretionary spending and instead prioritizing groceries and petrol amid rising costs

Festive fir tree prices are likely to swell as the holiday season approaches – as major retailers have noted, consumers are withdrawing discretionary spending and instead prioritizing groceries and petrol amid rising costs

Others were simply confused by the decorations’ presence in stores prior to September. ‘Why are there Christmas trees for sale in Costco?’ someone asked.

Another tagged the company in a questioning post: “@Costco what on earth are you thinking! It’s not even September 1st yet… and we’re already buying Christmas trees.”

Another, more inclined shopper wrote, “I think you might have to take me to Costco.”

Walmart and Sam’s Club, which together have nearly 5,400 locations across the country, also offer trees for just $49.

It comes as decades of inflation, though now easing, have left wealthy shoppers relentless in their bargain hunting, with Walmart recently saying its budget-priced groceries and supplies are attracting even more middle- and upper-income shoppers.

Increased stock levels in stores due to inflation-stricken consumers cutting back on their discretionary purchases have also forced chains to offer deep discounts to shed excess inventory.

Increased stock levels in stores due to inflation-stricken consumers cutting back on their discretionary purchases have also forced chains to offer deep discounts to shed excess inventory

Increased stock levels in stores due to inflation-stricken consumers cutting back on their discretionary purchases have also forced chains to offer deep discounts to shed excess inventory

Others are offering sales to minimize waste this festive season as in-store inventories continue to explode as many cash-strapped Americans hesitate to spend what little disposable income they may have.

Food prices nationwide this summer rose 12.2 percent from a year earlier, the fastest pace since April 1979, according to the latest inflation data.

Rising food prices played a major role in pushing headline inflation to 9.1 percent last month, a four-decade high that has since eased slightly to 8.5 percent

Meanwhile, a recent study found that 61 percent of Americans live paycheck to paycheck, and the stress of higher food and gas prices is stretching many families’ budgets.

It comes as major retailers, including Walmart Inc. and Target Corp., have reported a drop in shoppers over the past few weeks over the past few weeks

It comes as major retailers, including Walmart Inc. and Target Corp., have reported a drop in shoppers over the past few weeks over the past few weeks

Discount chains, including dollar stores, have seen a huge surge in grocery sales as shoppers try to stretch their paychecks through the month and keep groceries on the table.

However, according to a recent CNBC poll released earlier this month, more than 4 in 10 are spending less on groceries and about a third are using their credit card more often to weather the financial crisis.

According to another study by NielsenIQ, shoppers are also spending less on everyday items like bread, eggs and milk, and processed goods like juice boxes — with discretionary purchases becoming even rarer.

About 65 percent of those surveyed said they spend less on concerts and other types of entertainment, while another 61 percent said they drive less—although the average cost of a gallon of regular gasoline is still well over $4.50.

Experts blame inflation on everything from supply chain problems to the impact of the war in Ukraine on food and energy markets. Still, the high prices have undoubtedly hurt President Joe Biden’s approval rating, which has plummeted to about 37 percent.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-11162255/Christmas-trees-display-holiday-season-starts-earlier-usual-inflation.html?ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490&ito=1490 Christmas trees ALREADY on display as the Christmas season starts earlier than usual due to inflation

Emma Colton

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