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96-Foot Christmas Tree Makes Its Way To South Coast Plaza

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COSTA MESA (CBS) — With nine days until Halloween, some find it hard to believe that preparations for the holiday season are already under way at South Coast Plaza.

On Friday, a majestic 96-foot Christmas tree was hoisted at the popular shopping plaza in Costa Mesa.

“This is ridiculous to be here this early,” Marianne O’Connell said.

The likely reason it’s here so early – according to Dr. Esmael Adibi of Chapman University — is retailers are desperate as ever to generate holiday revenue.

“Basically retailers make their money, most of it, fifty-to-sixty percent during the Christmas season,” Adibi said. “So to get them attracted – they put the Christmas tree and they start the discounting much earlier than before.”

Economists predict retail sales will increase by about three percent this year and while that sounds like good news, it’s just not much of an improvement from last year.

“That’s not that much. And remember lots of sales are going to the Internet now,” Adibi added. “People go to the store, maybe feel the good or merchandise, then go back and order it on the Internet.”

A bad economy and an increase in online shopping are clearly to blame but this is the time retailers need to shine.

“This movement of having Christmas come so early… it takes it away from it being special,” O’Connell said.

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