SHAWANO, Wis. — The green and red necklaces and hair bow worn by Chelsea Gilling leave little doubt the holidays are just around the corner.

She’s a co-owner of The Stock Market in Shawano. One of many small businesses around the state already seeing people checking off their holiday shopping lists.

What You Need To Know

  • About 59% of Americans will start holiday shopping in November and December, according to a Gallup poll

  • Local retail stores work to provide customers with an unique experience

  • About 55% of consumers expect to spend the same amount on the holidays as last year, according to the poll

“We are a gourmet specialty food market,” she said. “We stock everything from olive oils to balsamic vinegars, tea, coffee, spirits, wine and cute, adorable, trendy home decor.”

A recent Gallup poll said 41% of Americans are expected to start shopping in September and October. The other 59% will head to the stores and online in November and December.

“It has definitely started,” Gilling said about the transition to holiday shopping. “Last week we had our Holiday Open House. People are in the holiday spirit already. We put all the pumpkins away and all of the trees and ornaments came out, and I think people are excited. We’re ready for the holidays.”

(Spectrum News/Nathan Phelps)

This is the first year in Shawano for Thornberry Cottage. The business moved from Green Bay and has expanded its offering to include women’s fashions and a gourmet cafe.

Owner Suzette Hackl said the holidays are important for their store and others.

“November and December are big months for us, especially because we specialize in our Christmas decor and we’re known for having our Christmas trees,” she said. “People want to come in and they want to see the new styles. How to decorate a tree. They want to get advice on how to put decor up on their fireplace mantle.”

Hackl said there’s a balance to choosing when to switch from fall to Christmas. Some large stores opt to do that early in the fall.

“They’re starting Christmas way earlier than us boutiques, so we’re trying to keep up with that as well as being reasonable,” she said. “We still have a fall season. If we cut our fall season too early, that’s not fun either. It’s that happy balance of being able to have fall and then jump into Christmas when our customers need it.”

(Spectrum News/Nathan Phelps)

Gilling said this is a busy time of year, but also one about creating unique experiences.

“Customers don’t just want to buy the gift, because you can do that online. They’re coming here looking for the experience,” she said. “That’s something The Stock Market offers and I think it’s unique and different.”