Every year it’s the same, Children go back to school for the autumn term and the supermarkets replace their ‘back to school’ aisle with their ‘seasonal’ aisle. A euphemism for loading shelves from floor to ceiling with Christmas related goods to kick start the spending frenzy that has become Christmas 3 months before the actual Christmas holiday.
I don’t know about you but I love the Christmas, it is quite different from any other holiday possibly because it happens at the darkest coldest time of year when we are at our most desperate for something nice to happen. But shops are beginning to spoil this specialness by smudging Christmas over 3 months rather than the intense period confined to the end of the year, and as such it is being spread too thin. In fact, B&Q started advertising their January sale at the beginning of November!
A consequence of this is that people are now buying their Christmas presents long before Christmas itself, in fact it has become the ultimate statement of a person’s organising ability to get their Christmas shopping done earlier than anyone else. We’ve all heard it, and in fact probably said it, when someone announces that they have finished their Christmas shopping in early October they are always praised with “oh, aren’t you organised”.
Now, as a retailer Dancemania has the predicament of wanting to keep Christmas special by not starting the festivities too early but having to match the mood of the shoppers. It’s a question of when is the right time to dress the business for Christmas.
In the USA next week they will be celebrating Thanksgiving and over there it is pretty much accepted that from then on it is a short shopping trip to Christmas. Many Americans turn Thanksgiving in to a long weekend by taking Friday off and then go to the local Mall to start their Christmas shopping. This has since become known as Black Friday. I know it sounds ominous but it is merely a day known for its large volume of customers going and browsing around shops. In some years it has been the day with the highest shop takings.
Now don’t think we are much different here in the UK, for some reason unbeknownst to me the week of Thanksgiving is when shopper numbers, both online & in the High Street, increases significantly. Maybe the Pilgrim Fathers deliberately made landfall at Plymouth Rock at the end of November so not to miss the best time for Christmas shopping and thereby created a causal loop. But anyway, we at Dancemania can’t ignore that a great many people are getting keen to start their Christmas shopping next week (the fourth week of November) so we will comply by getting our retail channels in to the Christmas spirit. Our main showroom in Poole has now put up its Christmas decorations and the Dancemania website now has Christmas images on its homepage to add to the excitement that Christmas brings.
So, when should shops put up their Christmas decorations?
In our view not sooner than the third week of November and, to cater for those organised shoppers that shop early, no later than the beginning of December. But please forgive us if we don’t play our Christmas songs until the week of Christmas itself, until then Christmas maybe seen at Dancemania but not heard.
As for me I shall be doing all my Christmas shopping on Christmas eve – I’ll be sending all my friends Dancemania gift certificates.
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