It’s that time of the year …
Pumpkin spice lattes…
and the favorite of writers everywhere…
“I can’t believe they already have Christmas stuff out and it’s not even Halloween.”
According to Wikipedia a Christmas creep is a merchandising phenomenon in which merchants and retailers exploit the commercialized status of Christmas by introducing Christmas-themed merchandise or decorations before the traditional start of the holiday shopping season, which in the United States is on the day after Thanksgiving. The term was first used in the mid-1980s.
When should business decorate for the holidays?
Walk into any department store, and it’s obvious: the holidays are upon us. The elaborate miniature winter villages, the glamorous plastic Christmas trees, and the reindeer sweaters seem decorate a solid chunk of the store, luring you into holiday splendor. Every year, the ornaments and tinsel seem to go up earlier and earlier. Instead of waiting to decorate until midway through November, they move Halloween décor to an underused corner long before October 31, all to make room for the gingerbread house decorating kits.
Sorry, there is one basic reason all retailers should do this. Wallets.
Most customers have a mental budget of what they will spend for the holidays; for decorations, for gifts for the family, for the teachers/coaches, for the office – the works.
The sooner those customers have spent money earmarked for holiday purchases, the less they will spend when it comes the traditional time to think about buying holiday gifts.
This isn’t something new but it is something smaller retailers have resisted and I suggest they get on board.
According to the National Retail Federation, 40 percent of shoppers start their holiday gift buying before Halloween. If your customers are ready for Santa in October, should you be too?
Most national retailers like Walmart, Target and Macy’s start decking the halls with holiday décor in late October and early November. According to the International Council of Shopping Centers, 98 percent of shopping centers start decorating during the first week of Thanksgiving, and 74 percent spend over $20,000 a year on holiday decorations.
So what’s your approach? Are you a Christmas creep or do you hold off for any reason?
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