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Memorial Day kicks off summer shopping

A customer shops for barbeque gas grills at a Home Depot store in Rafael, California.

Adriene Hill: Memorial Day can be a solemn holiday -- a day to remember fallen soldiers. It's also a day to hang out at home, maybe light up the barbeque. And for retailers, it's the beginning of the summer buying season.

Shannon Mullen has more.


Shannon Mullen: It has a lot to do with the weather; temperatures are rising and consumers are looking for everything from new bathing suits to barbecue grills.

Mike McCusker: From your basic charcoal grill to your smokers, if you're going to spend four hours making some ribs for yourself.

Mike McCusker is Manager at a Target store north of Boston.

McCusker: I think this is the time that people start thinking vacation for the summer. You start to see a real difference in buying patterns from this weekend right through Labor Day weekend.

A lot of stores use promotions to move leftovers from the slower winter months and consumers are easy targets on a long holiday weekend.

Kathy Grannis: Retailers have done a really good job of enticing those people who might have off work.

Kathy Grannis is with the National Retail Federation.

Grannis: If you've already done, you know, the traveling or the picnics, and there's not much left on your agenda, I think consumers look to shopping -- maybe now more than ever -- as a part of these three-day holiday weekends.

Grannis says retailers don't report Memorial Day sales figures separately from the rest of the May, but thanks to Mother's Day and graduation season, this turns out to be their best months of the year.

In Boston, I'm Shannon Mullen for Marketplace.

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