Christmas Creep

shopping-mall-522619_960_720For many of us, Christmas bears special meaning, and some choose to enjoy the celebrations that it brings along with it, but for others, it is a time of gaining and reaping the benefits of driving sales before the actual season. Christmas creep can certainly give many shoppers the “creeps” and some may find it just a little bit daunting at times. As consumers when should we start taking up the Christmas calls from our brands and as brands when would you really like us to start spending

What is Christmas creep?

This is a term used to describe how merchandisers and marketers are going extra lengths to promote the festive season long before the actual season begins. This has been an effective marketing strategy for a very long time as it aids in pushing product sales and promoting new ones. In countries such as the United States, “Christmas in July” was an effort to gather Christmas cards and gifts from family members of soldiers and navy seals during WWII and to get it shipped in time for them to receive by Christmas. In later years, some retailers began utilising the concept as a means of making more sales long before December. There are however possible negative triggers for consumers when brands start to trivialise and commercialise these occasions to such extremes. If I may be able to be and extravagant Christmas shopper if I had 5c for every time I heard, “Can you believe the stores have the decorations and Christmas music going already, its only October!”

Pressured consumers, thriving retailers

The whole Christmas Creep ideology is aimed at doing better and better each year by using the Christmas holiday and even other holidays to launch pad sales. Many folks are saddened by the fact that these holidays are not solely in their own category anymore but cross-over each other all the time, hence losing their true meaning. Retailers tend to push Christmas sales even during October prior to Halloween, as do they promote other holidays in ways that overlap each other.

What’s more astonishing is the fact that some shops even go as far as trading 24hours a day for two to three days before Christmas and shopping malls will keep their shops open for extended hours. All of this is to cater for what is now more and more becoming a “Christmas or holiday craze” rather than being associated with fond memories and joyous moments. All the early advertisements can subconsciously lead to purchasing items that could’ve been bought closer to Christmas at an even better price. Some customers don’t want to get caught in the “last minute rush” and go about their shopping earlier. Needless to say, retail marketers are using this as a way to commence early promotions because they want to “accommodate” their customers.

The key here is how to stay authentic. How to link to the season without losing its essence and exploiting the spirit of that particular time of year. If it continues so brashly unabated there will not be space for Christmas in July because it WILL be Christmas in July.

Will it ever end?

With the benefits retailers gain from Christmas creep, being able to boost sales that may have been weaker during the earlier parts of the year and promoting early Christmas shopping may in fact be what consumers will be experiencing for many years to come. In a world, trying to build a more authentic underbelly, I see the trend continuing but brands and retailers need to be more sensitive that once you kill the love for these holidays you may just be killing the golden-egg laying turkey.

 Are there long term effects to this holiday fad?

One could say that due to all the early Christmas adverts some even during early to mid October, that Christmas creep can take its toll on certain individuals where he/she could become tired of the whole Christmas spirit. However, going about your shopping with an open mind that isn’t easily swayed by all the money saving deals geared towards Christmas, can help you survive the Christmas creep effects. Always remember to try and stick to your goals and budget for the year, if you’d originally intended early Christmas shopping then you can use it to your advantage, and if your plans were to only do your shopping toward December month, then this is what you should do – besides you may even save much more in the last minute rush.