20111007 columbusday
Parade participants dressed as some of the great masters of Veneto wait for the start of the 65th Annual Columbus Day Parade in New York Oct. 12, 2009. - 

Jeremy Hobson: Today is Columbus Day -- although it might be difficult to tell in many places, because not everyone has the day off. Still, retailers are pegging big sales to the holiday. But how much money can they really bring in on a holiday like Columbus Day?

Marketplace's Nancy Marshall Genzer reports.

Nancy Marshall Genzer: You're probably working today. But that doesn't stop retailers from trying to spin this day into a moneymaker.

Marshal Cohen is the chief retail analyst at the NPD Group.

Marshal Cohen: Retailers have looked every month to find a way to create a holiday so that consumers will feel the urge to spend or shop or save.

Save during Columbus Day sales of electronics. Cohen says many stores have furniture on sale, for people who want to get rid of their ratty old recliners before the invasion of the in-laws during the real holidays.

John Long is a retail strategist at Kurt Salmon. He says retailers will also try to get you into a new winter coat.

John Long: Probably the most important thing about Columbus Day is that it's a great transition point. So you will get customers coming in looking for some of the cold weather items -- sweaters and the like.

For lots of stores, October is their third best month of the year. Actually, because Halloween also helps scare up sales.

In Washington -- where lots of people have today off -- I'm Nancy Marshall Genzer for Marketplace.