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by Mai Hoang

Temperatures in the Yakima Valley soared into the 90s last week.

But that doesn’t mean it’s too hot to shop for the holidays.

This month, retailers Target and Toys “R” Us will be offering Black Friday-like sales, a reference to the deep discounts they offer the day after Thanksgiving.

It continues a trend that has emerged in the last few years. Retailers have started selling Christmas merchandise, offering saving and layaway programs and giving promises of low prices.

It’s all in the name of getting a holiday sales burst six months early.

Everyone has a different opinion on whether such promotions really work.

Some consumer finance sites see promotions as an opportunity for frugal holiday shoppers to strategically shop for gifts to avoid racking up a huge credit card bill at year’s end. Other financial writers believe such promotions don’t really boost sales for retailers nor provide the discounts that consumers want.

Do consumers actually want it? To answer that question, I polled local shoppers on Shop Talk’s Facebook page. It’s not meant to be scientific, but it did illustrate the mixed bag of such promotions.

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