Christmas Creep

Posted by Jason Nicklin at

Already, retailers have begun their yearly holiday season shopping promotions. This phenomenon, known as Christmas creep has been well document in the past. It is a merchandizing occurrence whereby retailers and merchants exploit the highly commercialized Christmas status by bringing the holiday shopping season earlier than normal.

Typically, the Christmas season starts with Advent that happens between the 3rd of November and 3rd December. It lasts through the Christmastide, officially starting 25th December and lasts for twelve days. Every year the retailers sort of manipulate the Christmas season to bring it up earlier so that they get additional time to sell.

Evidence of Christmas Creep


The "Christmas Creep" concept begins to take shape when you start to hear Christmas songs being played over your local shopping centre in August, when Advent Calendars come for sale in mid-September, and when the Christmas decorations begin appearing in October. Basically, every year, Christmas would appear to come earlier and earlier.

Contributing Factors


The drive behind the Christmas creep is propelled by retailers who desire to extend their selling periods in order to reap the maximize levels of profit. There is also the desire to accord the early-bird shoppers some sort of a head start. The holiday creep is linked to the traditional heavy Christmas shopping period by bringing it forward to fall ahead of the US Black Friday and the Canadian Halloween.

1. The Role of the Media

In 2001 for example, some broadcasting stations started to play an exclusive Christmas format during the whole December month. From that time, many stations have, after Thanksgiving generally shifted to a playlist that is all-Christmas; sometimes even a couple of weeks earlier. For instance, in 2012, the very first TV commercial that was Christmas-oriented got aired on the eve of Halloween, while in 2014, one commercial got aired 7 days ahead of Halloween!

2. Impact of Globalization

The growing functionalities of the increasingly popular search engines are allowing sites to realize greater visibility not just locally but in foreign lands. Available retail data is suggesting that globalization of the market is partly responsible for the early onset of Christmas promotions and sales. The supply chain and commodity retailers are basically adapting new strategies towards meeting demand through pushing Christmas stock slightly earlier.

3. The Marketing Industry

As the suppliers push their ready stock to the retailers earlier every year, in turn, the retailers are coming under increasing pressure to make known their best seller price predictions even earlier than before. In effect, that triggers off the marketing buzz that the retailers require in the days heading to Christmas. At the same time they are also making sure that their stock of the key 'must have' commodities and items are available.

4. Budget Prioritization

The economic environment has witnessed the average household doing some major re-prioritization of their budgets. Because an affordable Christmas may not be a guaranteed event come December, families now do their shopping for Christmas gifts whenever money at hand permits. Generally, this tends to happen outside the standard gift-buying season. So when the Christmas Creep comes even earlier, some are only too willing to oblige the retailers.

Bottom Line


As the retail chains begins pushing sales and intensifying their promotional efforts over the coming month, it's certainly to your best advantage to listen to what they got to say or offer. If they're so desperate to begin running their Christmas ads as early as September, you could safely assume they could also be that desperate to initiate discount-crazy offers come in December. Better stay tuned.

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