Oxford Street’s lights went up three weeks ago, the Harrods Christmas grotto is already sold out (how un-seasonal is that? “Sorry, Santa is busy…”) and Mohammed Al Fayed leading the festive parade on Knightsbridge seems years ago.
As you get older, inevitably the Naomi Klein No Logo aspect of the season hits you and takes out some of the naïve joy of Christmas. I used to love the Coca Cola ads but even I, as a rom-com lover, can only handle so much saccharine sweetness.
So this year I have a new favourite ad that provides cheer without the cheese. Quality Street’s new animated ad, as the bastion of commercial marketing, wheedled me back into getting that warm fuzzy feeling again – so maybe now I’ll start spending.
The official start of Christmas is still a while away, but when have retailers stuck to the religious calendar anyway? And as the biggest retail opportunity of the year, it makes sense to maximise the duration of potential sales, but does it have its downfall? Are shoppers just so bored of being coerced into the festive spirit that by the time they get around to shopping they can’t enjoy it?
Retailers including M&S, Gap and New Look have all launched festive discounts with four weeks still to go until Christmas. The aim, of course, is the same – to encourage shoppers to spend big before the impending doom of the credit crunch and higher interest rates that will hit consumers in the New Year.
Our Indicator survey has shown that many indies are planning to go on Sale before Christmas, but surely this sends confusing signals to shoppers – telling them to save their cash until they feel in the mood, then grab the discounts and shop with abandon.
When do you start the Christmas season in store? Does it offer real value to your business? Get in touch via the link below.