Conventional wisdom holds that retailers will struggle this year because of the weak economy, hence the crazy tactics like midnight openings.
But Brett Rose sees it differently. The CEO/president of United National Consumer Suppliers, a wholesale supplier to retailers like T.J. Maxx, Ross Stores Inc., Toys 'R Us, and Big Lots, says his customers have picked up their orders in recent weeks and buying more expensive products.
Retailers used to order their holiday merchandise far out in advance. But over the past several years, retailers have been waiting until the last minute to order their goods for fear of getting stuck with unsold inventory.
Rose says he's seen a flurry of orders in the past 14 to 30 days--everything from 10,000 Christmas trees to 250,000 holiday bags.
"250,000 holiday bags in late November?" Rose said. "I think that's hilarious."
Moreover, retailers are ordering higher priced items, he said, a good sign for the industry's profit margins. Stores will still discount heavily on Black Friday to draw traffic. Only this time, instead of offering 80 percent off a $15 item, stores will offer a 80 percent off a $100 item, Rose said.
In any case, rumors of a weak economy spoiling the holiday shopping season are greatly exaggerated, he said.
"At the end of the day, you're still selling necessary consumer commodities to the middle of the road consumer," Rose said.