When Does the Holiday Season Start?
Every year there’s handwringing over Christmas creep, the idea that holiday shopping starts earlier and earlier. The issue over whether retailers should open their stores on Thanksgiving has been a catalyst for discussions about this in recent years. That’s a complicated issue, but what’s not is whether consumers are interested in buying gifts and seasonal goods before Thanksgiving or even before Halloween. They are.
According to the National Retail Federation’s Holiday Consumer Spending Survey:
“For the 14th year in a row, NRF’s holiday spending survey found that approximately 40 percent of holiday shoppers say they begin their holiday shopping before Halloween. Another 41.5 percent say they begin their holiday shopping in November, and 18.7 will begin sometime in December.
When asked why they begin shopping early, most of those that responded that they shop before or in September or October say it’s to spread out their budget (61.4%). Another 48 percent say they want to avoid the November and December crowds and 46 percent do so to avoid the stress of last-minute shopping.”
I was recently asked on Twitter when the holiday season starts for major retailers. My response was: “The holiday season is whenever you can sell seasonal products and Christmas gifts.”
The question reminded me of this June 5, 2012 Norm Thompson email, where they’d updated images to indicate which products had sold out:
Four of the eight products in that content block had sold out, including a snowman ornament and two other seasonal items.
I recently spoke to Internet Retailer about the start of the email marketing holiday season and issues around email messaging and frequency.