Retailers in and around Modesto are readying for the Christmas sales season, which should prove a stern test of whether the economy of the Northern San Joaquin Valley is recovering or languishing.
Even before Halloween, some stores put out holiday decorations for sale and set up Christmas displays. At McHenry Village in Modesto today, crews hung outdoor decorations at the shopping center to signal the start of seasonal sales.
Thanksgiving Day is Nov. 24, and the 25th will be "Black Friday," the sales event at which merchants open early to lure shoppers with deep discounts. From that, retailers will be in a one-month sprint until Christmas to rack up as much in sales revenue as they can.