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Merry Christmas…Too Soon?

By Mark A. Diaz


We see it every year, the Christmas Creep. It was a beautiful Halloween/Christmas season. Consumers were delighted to be able to purchase discount costumes and ghostly decorations for the spooky season and joyful twinkly lights and blowup Santas and snowmen in one trip. Thanksgiving? What’s that?

The truth of the matter is that someone is doing their Christmas shopping way too early. “Each year about 40 percent of consumers begin their holiday shopping before Halloween,” according to the National Retail Federation (NRF). The organization states that in light of this, many retailers put items such as greeting cards and decorations on their floors in September or even sooner. Hobby Lobby has made it a tradition to bust out the holiday knickknacks six months early.

“Every year we hear about this annual seasonal change over,” stated Hobby Lobby on a social media post, “especially in our newer markets. Hobby Lobby has repeated this pattern for about 20 years. Interestingly enough some of our customers want this merchandise even earlier in the year!” In 2014, CNBC reported that the store had Xmas merchandise on display in May. Even the government is on the retail bandwagon with the United States Post Office releasing its line of holiday stamps in July.

Business is business, and if it did not pay off, store owners would not display their gear of holiday cheer before the first jack-o-lantern is carved. In essence, early Christmas sales are like the gossip tabloids of the retail world— if people did not shop early for the festive décor, then businesses would look for alternative moneymakers. Like it or not, money is a big reason for the season just ask Kris Kringle who takes time out of his busy holiday schedule to peddle mattresses and cars.

To the chagrin of many, there are some justifications why they will see Santa Claus and Jack Skellington hand in hand, for one, storage space. It is more economically sound to display seasonal decorations early on the store floor where there is a potential of being sold, then paying to hold them in storage them with no hope of generating income.

There is also the “if we don’t do it, someone else will” justification followed by the silent implied “and I need to get paid.” Of course, the store owners do not suffer the public blowback of premature placement of Noel-ian products, that is reserved for store employees and checkout clerks who have to hear an endless of barrage “it’s not even Thanksgiving” while they are being paid (hopefully above but probably not) minimum wage.

Though it cannot compete with Christmas sales, Halloween has been making a big retail comeback. The NRF predicted that 2018 Halloween spending could reach $9 billion in sales with “Celebrants are planning to spend an average of$86.79.” According to a survey of 1,000 people conducted by LendEDU, an online marketplace, people expected to spend an average of $185.50.
With 175 million Americans celebrating the ghoulish holiday, there is a chance that retailers could start Halloween creeping. There’s already a Christmas in July, why not a Halloween March?

Christmas Creep. It was a beautiful Halloween/Christmas season. Consumers were delighted to be able to purchase discount costumes and ghostly decorations for the spooky season and joyful twinkly lights and blowup Santas and snowmen in one trip. Thanksgiving? What’s that?

The truth of the matter is that someone is doing their Christmas shopping way too early. “Each year about 40 percent of consumers begin their holiday shopping before Halloween,” according to the National Retail Federation (NRF). The organization states that in light of this, many retailers put items such as greeting cards and decorations on their floors in September or even sooner. Hobby Lobby has made it a tradition to bust out the holiday knickknacks six months early.

“Every year we hear about this annual seasonal change over,” stated Hobby Lobby on a social media post, “especially in our newer markets. Hobby Lobby has repeated this pattern for about 20 years. Interestingly enough some of our customers want this merchandise even earlier in the year!” In 2014, CNBC reported that the store had Xmas merchandise on display in May. Even the government is on the retail bandwagon with the United States Post Office releasing its line of holiday stamps in July.

Business is business, and if it did not pay off, store owners would not display their gear of holiday cheer before the first jack-o-lantern is carved. In essence, early Christmas sales are like the gossip tabloids of the retail world— if people did not shop early for the festive décor, then businesses would look for alternative moneymakers. Like it or not, money is a big reason for the season just ask Kris Kringle who takes time out of his busy holiday schedule to peddle mattresses and cars.

To the chagrin of many, there are some justifications why they will see Santa Claus and Jack Skellington hand in hand, for one, storage space. It is more economically sound to display seasonal decorations early on the store floor where there is a potential of being sold, then paying to hold them in storage them with no hope of generating income. There is also the “if we don’t do it, someone else will” justification followed by the silent implied “and I need to get paid.” Of course, the store owners do not suffer the public blowback of premature placement of Noel-ian products, that is reserved for store employees and checkout clerks who have to hear an endless of barrage “it’s not even Thanksgiving” while they are being paid (hopefully above but probably not) minimum wage.

Though it cannot compete with Christmas sales, Halloween has been making a big retail comeback. The NRF predicted that 2018 Halloween spending could reach $9 billion in sales with “Celebrants are planning to spend an average of$86.79.” According to a survey of 1,000 people conducted by LendEDU, an online marketplace, people expected to spend an average of $185.50.
With 175 million Americans celebrating the ghoulish holiday, there is a chance that retailers could start Halloween creeping. There’s already a Christmas in July, why not a Halloween March?

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