Consumer Views on Holiday Creep


Iveth Vanegas, Reporter

As September rolls over, stores have already bombarded customers with holiday decorations, a concept that actually is designed to make consumers rush into holiday shopping. This is known as the holiday creep, a merchandising strategy where companies sell holiday decorations or items months before the actual holiday. 

At Walmart, Halloween displays have already been displayed in the last week of August and as the end of September, Christmas displays have as well. According to an article by USA Today, Walmart has been kicking off the holiday displays in late September for the last several years.

“By putting up the displays by September, the company is able to provide customers with decorations so that they can have an early start to decorating.” Walmart Department manager Mayra Vanegas said.

Employees have to be aware of when the holidays are nearing, which can cause a major rift in their workplace.

“To have to change the seasonal merchandise means that my routine is interrupted,” Mayra Vanegas said. “I have to make time for the extra work.” 

Although the early start to the holidays can negatively affect employees, it benefits the retailers and companies participating in the holiday creep.

“I think that the company’s plan is based on that the sooner they have items obtainable, they can have more sales,” Vanegas said.

Customers understand the reasoning behind the holiday creep and its many benefits. An article by CNBC News estimates holiday retail sales will grow between 3.8 percent and 4.2 percent this year due to the holiday creep.

“It increases awareness and of course, it’s gonna increase the sales for that particular company depending on what it is,” Nutrition and wellness teacher Melissa Rushing said.

Despite backlash to the holiday creep, some customers may choose to go shopping earlier. According to Inc. This Morning, a newsletter company, eighteen percent of shoppers start shopping in September or even earlier. 40 percent start their holiday shopping by November 1.

“In general, the people who like to decorate every season are the ones who buy earlier,” Vanegas said. “Those who like the offers wait until the last day to take advantage of the sales.” 

Both customers and employees, however, mainly share a dislike towards holiday creep.

“I like to savor whatever it is going on in the moment,” Rushing said. “It’s hard to enjoy Halloween if you’ve already got Christmas stuff that’s being thrown at you.

Customers have their own opinion on when retailers should start introducing holiday themed products in their stores so that it doesn’t feel like too much too soon. Depending on the popularity of a holiday, customers have different time frames companies should start selling for the holidays. A Fox News poll revealed that out of 362 Americans, nearly 60 percent agreed that christmas decoration should be displayed after Thanksgiving.

“I would say probably six weeks before the holiday itself would be a good time to start advertising and then slowly build up from there,” Rushing said.

Some employees disapprove of the beginning of the holidays in stores because they have to prepare earlier than others.

“Personally, I don’t like it because I feel like we don’t live day by day and the companies turn every holiday simply into something commercial,” Vanegas said. “We lose the true meaning of these special dates.”