- An instrumental version of "The First Noel" played on store speakers.
- The check out area was adorned with wrapped gift boxes above the cash registers.
- Christmas decorations, clothes and gifts were stocked on shelves and aisles.
- The entry area inside the front door was decorated with a Christmas Tree and wreath decoration (above).
It was looking a lot like Christmas.
It was November 9, 2008.
A "quiet" change
Moving the holiday shopping season earlier and earlier is a relatively newer phenomenon. Not too many years ago, Christmas shopping really started after Thanksgiving. Over the last decade, retailers have started stocking holiday decorations and gifts before Thanksgiving. It was not uncommon to see such sights prior to Halloween.
However, this was done more on the sly... with little promotion and fanfare. It just happened. Things seemingly just appears on store shelves. If shoppers bought holiday items, it would be great. If not, there was still a lot of time until the holidays for them to do so.
It is different this year
This year, there is a reason for retailers to have an earlier holiday shopping season. Economic concerns are impacting consumers' spending. The prevailing thought is that consumers will have smaller gift giving and holiday decorating budgets... and be more likely to stick to them this year. So, when the allotment is gone, consumers are done spending on the holidays. Therefore, retailers fear that, if they do not get the early Christmas spending, coal will be in their holiday sales stockings.
- What issues are affecting your customer base?
- How are you addressing these issues?
- What will be the impact on your business if such variables are not dealt with effectively?