There is nothing worse than walking into your local department store in July wanting to purchase your country’s flag, and instead you find yourself surrounded by jack-o’-lanterns. And don’t get me started on Christmas trees lining the aisles in September. It seems like every year the big name department stores are pushing their holiday-themed products earlier and earlier. Look closely and you can see the steam spurting out of customers’ ears as they walk store aisles, passing the holiday-themed products that are being shoved in their faces way too soon.
I understand why they do it. A huge chunk of companies’ revenues are from holiday shopping. What better way to spread out your sales than by spreading out your product lines that produce revenue.
The bottom line is that this tactic is stripping the integrity that the holidays hold for the consumer. Those sweet memories that can take us back in time to when we still believed in Santa can quickly morph into stress and panic attacks. The realization of all the presents we have yet to purchase completely blocks out our recollection of those sacred holidays as soon as an artificial, pre-lit tree is spotted in the early autumn season.
As a business, it is your every right to offer your products when you want and how you want. But there is a fine line between providing holiday-themed items before your competitor does and offending your customers by doing so. Just because all of those themed products have been on your mind for six months before the appropriate season via product research, vendor quotes and ordering, doesn’t mean your customer is thinking about them, too. Try an email blast with helpful tips on when the best time is to score holiday cards and a soft reminder that you, in fact, have a great deal on those right now! This is a gentler way to push those items. Do not take away this season’s products when you do add the next season’s products. It’s very inconvenient when I want to buy flip flops and the hats and scarves have replaced them…in August! I understand from an inventory aspect this may cause a headache, but your customers’ satisfaction will be the panacea. And that’s what a flash sale is for!
For more information on the “Holiday Creep,” visit: http://business.time.com/2013/08/15/halloween-in-august-christmas-in-october-this-annoying-retail-trend-is-here-to-stay/