LYNCHBURG, Va. – We’re still more than 80 days away from Christmas, and retailers are already beating us to the punch.
If you’ve been out shopping lately, you may have noticed the shelves are already stocked for the holiday season and we haven’t even reached Halloween.
It’s a phenomenon called the “Christmas Creep,” and it seems to have retailers going brighter, better and earlier every year.
In the season of pumpkins, goblins and ghouls, those like Catherine Thomas and Hudson Robertson prefer to live in the moment.
“I think it’s too soon. Way too soon,” Robertson says. “Halloween isn’t even here yet.”
In a world where retail rules, Christmas continues to creep up year after year.
“Does it start in November? Does it start in October? Does it start in September? It just always creeps up faster and faster,” Thomas says.
On the other hand, if you can’t beat them, join them.
“Some people say it’s too early, but I like it,” Marcus Keith says.
Whether it comes too soon or it can’t come soon enough, the “Christmas Creep” is here to stay.
“As companies needed to supply customers with products that were increasingly imported in the 1960′s and 1970′s, they needed to get those catalogs in the hands of consumers early enough to cover their shipping times,” Liberty University History Professor Carey Roberts says.
Roberts says this all started many years ago. Adding the conflicted consumer drives demand, forcing shops to compete.
“Research has found that about 40% of shoppers will do their Christmas shopping in October. Retailers aren’t stupid,” Nancy Hubbard says as Dead of the College of Business at University of Lynchburg. “If someone wants to buy it, they will certainly provide it.”
Hubbard adds this year is particularly early due to the unease of a pandemic-driven supply shortage.
“People are worried they’re not going to be able to get Christmas products closer to Christmas, so they’re starting to buy now just to be safe,” she says.
This on top of the long-standing American culture and tradition is enough to get shoppers excited to have Christmas in their hands early.
“Christmas is a time of joy, happiness and celebration,” Roberts says.