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Christmas retail creeps earlier, annoys some shoppers

By Bill Gephardt | Posted - Nov 8th, 2013 @ 10:27am


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SALT LAKE CITY — As a shopper, did you noticed Christmas decorations in the aisle next to the Halloween candy last week? It seems the "Christmas creep" has already started.

"I saw my first Christmas tree today downtown and the Halloween decorations aren't put away at home," a shopper named Eric said.

Every year, it seems the retail frenzy around Christmas creeps in earlier and earlier. A lot of people are bothered by it. If they don't rant about it, they at least roll their eyes.

"I think in the summertime I saw something advertising for Christmas trees," Eric said. "That's crazy to me, but whatever."

Tech firm Soasta this week released its survey of 2,000 Americans. Seventy-seven percent said retailers should stop with Christmas decorations until Thanksgiving.

What makes people so averse to early signs of this holiday?

"I really do think the holiday, people sort of view holidays as sacredness," said Brian Jorgensen, a marketing professor at Westminster College.

Jorgensen is an expert in consumer behavior. He believes many of us want our important holidays to have their own time and space, not share the spotlight with another holiday.

"Each holiday has its season and time. There is a desire by a lot of people not to have those overlap," he explained.

That's the sense we got from many people.

A shopper named Chris said, "I think that each holiday should actually have its own period rather than having Christmas out before Halloween is even gone."

Eric added, "Enjoy Halloween. Enjoy Thanksgiving. Then go on to Christmas."

A few shoppers also don't like the idea of retailers telling them when and how they will shop for the holidays.

"I don't know when the right time to buy is," Eric said. "Is there going to be more promotions, or really the best time to buy is early?"

Still, Jorgensen said shoppers may have themselves to blame for the Christmas creep. Would retailers push the holidays earlier if it didn't work?

"If there were no sales associated with that, then I think they probably wouldn't do it," Jorgensen said.

Many people, like Audrey, definitely are not opposed to the early rush.

"The earlier the better for me," she said, "because I get super stressed out the closer it gets to Christmas."

"We're loving it. Any day there's a sale, it's great," two other shopper said.

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