Christmas Creep: Backlash Brewing?

TurkeyShoppers may say they are increasingly irritated with “Christmas creep,” but expect to see more of it: It seems to work. A new study from YouGov BrandIndex reports that the creep is so effective that nearly one-third of adults have taken the hint and started holiday shopping the last week of October.

The survey finds that bargain-hunting is fueling the trend, with 75% of the consumers in its survey expecting to buy their 2011 holiday purchases at discount prices, and 63% saying they’ll be motivated by direct marketing offers, coupons or daily deals. They’re also increasingly eager to find those deals online, the overall sample expecting to buy 46% of their holiday gifts online. (And even among the 55-plus crowd, online shopping is up sharply, with that segment expecting to buy 40% of their gifts online.



But a backlash may be brewing, started by disgruntled help. With a number of chains, including Walmart, Target and Best Buy, announcing plans to open at midnight on Thanksgiving, it seems not every sales associate is thankful to be yanked away from the dinner table before pie is served: More than 7,000 people have joined a campaign on calling on Target to reverse its decision to open its doors on Thanksgiving Day, and allow workers to spend the holiday with family.

(Target, it might be noted, actually held a “Black Friday in July” sale on its website this summer.)

Some retailers have always resisted the creep. At Nordstrom, for example, the store has “a long-standing policy of waiting until after Thanksgiving to unveil our holiday decorations at all our stores,” a spokesperson for the Seattle-based retailer tells Marketing Daily. “We believe in celebrating one holiday at a time. Over the years, we've heard from customers that they appreciate this and we'll be honoring the tradition again this year.”

While others have been hanging up red-and-green stuff since back-to-school ended, Nordstrom won’t unveil its trim on Friday, Nov. 25.


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