We experience Christmas in July for retail to boost sales, but Christmas in August? Shoppers are already seeing signs of Christmas on store shelves and in aisles.
A friend of mine saw the ribbon display pictured on the left at a Costco in the Chicago area on August 3rd, and researchers are already publishing trends for Christmas 2014. Is it because retailers and brands don't want another gloom Christmas season for sales?
Just like last year, there are few days between Black Friday and Christmas (only 26 days), so retailers and brands must plan accordingly. So far the forecasted trends for Christmas 2014 are mixed. A1 Retail Magazine in the UK, reports Savvy Marketing optimistic findings that 25% of UK shoppers plan on spending more this Christmas season. But, Deloitte is reporting a prediction of overall rise in sales, but a flat margin in Australia. Deloitte's Retailer Survey Counting On Christmas is a cautionary report, but at least retailers are better prepared for the multichannel shopper. Macy's just published a cut in their sales forecast because they don't see Back-to-School and Christmas making up for their sluggish sales for the first half of the year.
It looks like most retailers are planning on not having successful numbers, but they're still going to tailor their message to hope for the best. But is pushing seasonal items to shelves in August the best way?
Anthony Morley, a store manager at Card Factory in Portsmouth, UK said, "Lots of our customers like to spread the cost of Christmas so we make sure we launch our Christmas range in plenty of time."
As people are becoming more frugal with their money, stocking stores with Christmas goods may be the right thing to do, but are shoppers really ready for the Christmas cheer? What do you think? Have you seen other signs of Christmas in your local stores?