CHRISTMAS CREEP: The Practice of Early Holiday Marketing

by on November 15, 2014

in consumer

Grinch says Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays

If it feels like Christmas marketing is coming earlier every year, well it is pretty early, but it is not much earlier than in recent years. It merely feels like it is earlier when you, the holiday shopping consumer, feel disrespected when it seems so early in the year.

The big name stores are starting to release their Black Friday marketing in TV and radio and web ads and news has been hitting the headlines where what stores will be doing what for Black Friday, including Wal-Mart staying open and having its Black Friday sale go on for five days.

But something that has been more noticeable these days is the how early the marketing for the Christmas shopping season has started. For instance, back on October 3rd I posted a picture of Target’s wall of Christmas decoration supplies, then shortly after, Walgreen’s and most other outlets started following suit.

But I must have missed something this year, because CNBC reported last year that holiday sales started in September in 2013.

Regardless of when we see Christmas merchandising, the insidious deed of marketing the holiday earlier and earlier each year is called Christmas Creep and according to Wikipedia, it started in the mid-80s. It’s a tactic to take advantage of the most profitable sales quarter of the year.

They say Sam’s Club started this here in the U.S., followed shortly by Lowe’s, then Wal-Mart, J.C. Penny and Target. But can we blame them when 40% of consumers say they plan to start holiday shopping before Halloween.

At some point during the sales season, online numbers can cross the $1 billion mark in a 10-day period in 2013, while online spending hit just over the $40 billion mark for the measured season.

So you can see the incentive that consumers give sellers. To be honest, sometimes it is hard to resist some of the sale prices they pitch at us, at just the right time of year. Dang it.

But still. Halloween and Thanksgiving might be slow moving sales periods, but this sales creep can feel so disrespectful of the masses. I mean hey, at what point will July 4th be part of Black Friday? I mean there are a lot of pretty colors in the fireworks, and they can be a marketing segway into the colors of Christmas! At least that’s how this “creep” feels it can lead to.

Since we’re chatting about it here’s a link to Amazon’s BLACK FRIDAY Deals.


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