Halloween has come and gone and it now it's time to focus on Christmas. What about Thanksgiving? If you're asking about Thanksgiving it's obvious you're not in the retail business.

The holiday shopping season is usually the difference between breaking even and making a profit for the bottom line. As you can imagine Louisiana retailers are no different than the national chains when it comes to asking you to come shop with them for Christmas.

It seems like they're trying to train the consumers to make their purchases a little bit earlier on and everybody's trying to get to that starting block just a little bit earlier.

Dan Rice, a marketing professor at LSU, told the Louisiana Radio Network that retailers are trying to get you and I in the habit of starting our holiday shopping earlier and earlier. One of the methods they are using to convince us to come in and shop early besides lower prices is the promise of reduced stress for the holiday season.

You don't have to rush out and get it right now, but we're going to have it earlier so you can start your shopping and maybe finish your shopping early and have less of the stress that you might have later in the season.

Not only are local retailers having to compete with national chains they are also in competition with online shopping. One online retailer has already opened a site called Black Friday Deals and it's updated everyday with bargains on products for consumers through November 27th.

As for the outlook for retailers who occupy a building and actually pay taxes in the state Rice says,

You'll see smaller percentage gains in brick and mortar retailers, larger percentage gains in online stuff, but the brick and mortar is still going to be a majority of sales for a long time coming.

Seems to me if you're going to buy it anyway, why not buy it early especially if you can get it at great price and buy from a local merchant. I like online shopping, but not as much as I like seeing a thriving business community in Louisiana's towns and cities.