HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill., July 9 (UPI) -- U.S. retail giant Sears plunged into the spirit of Christmas early this year with the launch of Christmas Lane, an online boutique that opened in July.
The season of ho-ho-ho and mistletoe may see far away, but Sears, which traditionally pulls out the wrapping paper and bows on Nov. 1, decided to jump in early to give shoppers a chance to put some of their holiday shopping items on layaway, The Chicago Tribune reported Thursday.
"This is the first year we've done the Christmas Lane event," said Sears spokeswoman Natalie Norris-Howser. "We're allowing customers to put these items on layaway and pay over time," she said.
Christmas Lane can be reached online at sears.com and kmart.com. The merchandiser has also set up Christmas boutiques at 372 Sears stores.
Online, beneath a banner that says "Sizzling Summer Sale," customers can click on the link to Christmas Lane, where automobile battery chargers and electric blankets are featured in a section called, "Winter Readiness."
"It's going to be nippy out there! Get everything you need to keep cozy warm this blustery winter," a sign beneath a hot air balloon says cheerfully.