Christ­mas shop­ping: is it too soon?

North Shore Times - - YOUR LOCAL NEWS - ZIZI SPARKS

How early

Christ­mas?

Both Bun­nings Ware­houses on the North Shore have had Dasher and Dancer in be­tween the gas cylin­ders and the lawn mow­ers since mid-Septem­ber. An in­flat­able Santa counts the days till Christ­mas: 100, 99, 98 ....

In a poll on Neigh­bourly, 114 out of 138 re­spon­dents said it was too early for dec­o­ra­tions and mer­chan­dise. Sandy Cook said the un­spo­ken rule for dec­o­ra­tions was to avoid them un­til at least Novem­ber.

‘‘Al­ready ad­vent cal­en­dars at stores. It’s ridicu­lous. It should only be ad­ver­tised in any way from Novem­ber,’’ Cook wrote.

Linda Kimp­ton from Hau­raki dis­agreed.

‘‘If a store has enough sales to jus­tify putting Christ­mas mer­chan­dise out all-year-round then good on them,’’ Kimp­ton wrote.

‘‘There is a dif­fer­ence be­tween a store sell­ing (and sim­ply dis­play­ing) items early, and ac­tu­ally cel­e­brat­ing early by putting up in­store dec­o­ra­tions.’’

Re­tail man­age­ment ex­pert Pro­fes­sor Jonathan Elms said the phe­nom­e­non of ‘‘Christ­mas Creep’’ meant this time of year was com­mon and this time of year could be crit­i­cal for re­tail­ers to build in­ter­est.

‘‘Where Hal­loween isn’t as cel­e­brated, is too early for Christ­mas Creep ap­pears to hap­pen much ear­lier,’’ Elms said. ’’From a re­tailer’s point of view it can be make or break for sales. The ma­jor­ity of sales hap­pen around the Christ­mas pe­riod.’’

But, he said, there had to be a bal­ance be­tween putting things up too early and too late.

‘‘The in­ter­est­ing thing is what are con­sumers re­ac­tions to it, and gen­er­ally most con­sumers are a bit wary of the Christ­mas pe­riod start­ing psy­cho­log­i­cally early,’’ Elms said. ‘‘Par­tic­u­larly for older con­sumers, it seems like the year’s go­ing far too quickly. For oth­ers Christ­mas is a pe­riod of fam­ily and nos­tal­gia. Promoting it can be off­putting.’’

The pub­lic could ex­pect to see re­tail­ers adding ‘‘Christ­mas el­e­ments’’ through­out Oc­to­ber.

The Christ­mas Heir­loom Com­pany sets up pop-up stores from late Septem­ber. The Taka­puna store opened on Septem­ber 22. Shel­ley Bishop, from the head of­fice said cus­tomers ex­pect stores to be open from Septem­ber.

‘‘With 14 stores to open na­tion­wide, these need to be­gin early to en­sure all our stores are set-up and open with plenty of time for Christ­mas shop­ping.’’

ZIZI SPARKS/STUFF

Busi­ness pro­fes­sor Jonathan Elms said Christ­mas el­e­ments would slowly reach the shelves.

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