Unusually short holiday shopping season for Usinger's, other retailers

CREATED Dec. 4, 2013

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MILWAUKEE - It is all hands on deck at Usinger's Famous Sausages.

Even fourth-generation owner Fritz Usinger is in a hard hat, hair net and coat at the refrigerated distribution center in Milwaukee's Fifth Ward.
"The busiest week of the year will probably be next week," he told TODAY'S TMJ4 reporter Tom Murray.  "The window of shipping is very tight."
The landmark Milwaukee company that once relied on catalog orders is now turning to e-mail blasts to remind customers that they have less time than usual.
"It's seven days less of shopping for folks to do," Usinger said. "There's kind of this resistance to admit that the holiday is coming, so they tend to procrastinate."
Thanksgiving last year fell on November 22nd compared to November 28th this year.  Retailers are losing almost a week of traditional holiday shopping.
Alverno College School of Business Dean Dan Horton is a veteran of the retail game.  He said most of us are getting messages to get our shopping done.
"It's happening all the time, especially if you subscribe to any online services," Horton said.  "You're getting e-mails, alerts."