Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Hauling out the Holly...how early is too early?

Yep, that’s my Christmas tree (courtesy of Instagram).
While most Chicagoans were leading their kids door to door for candy, I was looking for extra ornament hooks. 
I get a lot of flak from both family and friends. “You’re rushing the seasons. You’re neglecting Thanksgiving.”  Quite the contrary.  To me, Thanksgiving “kicks off” the holiday season (which culminates on New Year’s Day).  6(ish) weeks at the end of each year when we toast to family, friends and all that was good over the past 12 months.
I am a decorating fanatic too. I like to spend November transforming the house into a holiday wonderland. Done right before Thanksgiving, I can spend the month of December enjoying it, rather than rushing to get it all up.
But never mind how I handle the holidays.  What about retailers?
For most, the month of December proves the high-water mark for sales and profit.  Why not get a jump start on the fanfare?  Especially in a down economy?
It's November 1st, let’s take a quick run through the landing pages of a few top-of-mind retailers.  What’s on display?
·         Department Stores: a 50/50 split
o   Holiday: Nordstrom, Saks, Sears and JCPenny
o   General/Fall: Bloomingdales, Neiman Marcus, Macy's and Kohl's
·         Discounters: 1/2 in favor of Thanksgiving/Fall
o   Holiday: Kmart
o   General/Fall: Target and Wal-Mart
·         Home Décor Stores: 3/1 in favor of Holiday
o   Holiday: Potterybarn, Restoration Hardware, West Elm
o   Thanksgiving: Crate&Barrel
I must say I was surprised by Nordstrom’s homepage: 

Nordstrom prides itself on not decorating stores before Thanksgiving; “celebrating one holiday at a time.” (Never mind that such a stance leads to employees having to work late into the night Wednesday before Thanksgiving – thereby delaying the start of their time with family).
It’s Economics: 101, a lesson in Supply and Demand. 
Surely we can agree that some holiday merchandise should be available prior to Black Friday?
·         Boxed Cards: December’s full of holiday commitments and work, some like to get a jump start on filling out holiday sentiments.
·         Outdoor Lights/Décor: I’m already wearing gloves to work in the morning. It gets cold in November! Some people like to string up outdoor lights before the snow starts to fall.
Calling all Christmas-in-November naysayers! 
Next time you’re at Target, stroll back to the Seasonal Department. What would you suggest go on sale in the aisles recently vacated by Halloween? What would you be willing to buy during the month of November that isn’t represented in stores? 
Admit that Thanksgiving doesn’t provide a robust enough product mix to require a dedicated section.
...And if you’re not quite ready to buy an inflatable Santa, polar bear or snow globe:
Target has you covered online. :)  

1 comment:

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