Why Retailers Should Display Christmas Merchandise Before Halloween

Santa eating candy corn

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Why do retailers put out Christmas merchandise before Halloween? Because customers buy it.

It's that time of the year ...

Time for the leaves to change and drop...

Corn mazes to sprout up...

Pumpkin spice lattes...

and the perennial favorite of writers everywhere...Christmas creep.

"I can't believe they already have Christmas stuff out and it's not even Halloween."


Oh, excuse me, I suppose I should be in the camp that talks about "the good old days" from the movie A Christmas Story when shoppers would admire retailers' windows during the annual Christmas parade.

Or maybe I should extol Nordstrom again because they won't put up decorations until Thanksgiving Day.

Sorry, but there is one basic reason all retailers should do this. Wallets.

Most customers have a mental budget of what they will spend for the holidays; for decorations, gifts for the family, for the teachers/coaches, for the office - the works.

The sooner those customers have spent money earmarked for gift-giving, the less they will spend at the traditional time to think about buying holiday gifts.

Deloitte forecasts that 2022 holiday retail sales:
  • Will increase between 4% and 6%. 
  • E-commerce sales will grow by 13% to 14%, year-over-year. 

And NRF issued its annual forecast, anticipating retail sales to grow between 6 percent and 8 percent in 2022

While the economy may be cooling, there is still much room for you to get your share. But that means getting out there now

And that's the opportunity for all merchants to put out the Christmas merchandise now.

This isn't something new, but it is something smaller retailers have resisted, and I suggest they get on board. Especially with potential coronavirus variants still possible around the planet.

After all, catalogs with reams of holiday items have arrived at your mailbox since August. They know something...

No, I'm not saying those items have to be in your display windows or your prime selling space.

Just like you don’t start playing nonstop holiday music, you can put out more and more holiday items through November and into December. 

With Apple's new iPhone expected to take a larger amount out of moms' and dads' holiday budgets, what will be left over for any store will be smaller.

Smart merchants look at customer behavior when merchandising their stores and making their holiday preparations, not their own preferences of only seeing merchandise in stores after Thanksgiving.

See also, What To Do During Your First Holiday Season As A Retail Manager 

In Sum

Established merchants put out holiday merchandise because they understand having it on the floor beats having it in a distribution center or stockroom.

Whatever sells is a bonus.

When merchants have less staff, or there's a shortage of seasonal workers, it can take longer to get the merchandise out onto the floor.

And let's face it, Halloween doesn't have the breadth of merchandise across all categories as Christmas does.

So, if you are a retailer, find a way to get your seasonal items out there before a competitor steals your customer and gets them to open their wallet now - leaving you with lower retail holiday sales.

If you're not a retailer and feel incensed at the realities of holiday retailing, please avoid commenting on how awful it is for you. This blog is for merchants, not customers.

To make the most of your holiday merchandise, I suggest you start using SalesRX my online retail sales training program to increase conversions and profits. You can register for a free trial below.