Christmas Creep

Posted on 10/11/2014 · Posted in Blog

Love it or loathe it, we all know that there are a lot more than 12 days of Christmas in today’s world. This year, it seemed that “Christmas Creep” or Christmas collections appearing on retailer’s shelves early in the year caused more discussion than usual.

Selfridges attracted attention and some criticism because it launched its Christmas collection on 4th August. However, what we need to remember is the modern day consumer, in particular overseas tourists, start thinking about Christmas shopping in advance of the winter months. Selfridges buyer Geraldine James said about the launch:

Despite the summer weather, we’re in full festive mode here at Selfridges. We’ve been working on this year’s Christmas Shop since Christmas last year. We have so many customers visiting from all over the world and eager to snap up festive souvenirs on their summer holidays, which they can’t buy at home.”

For retailers and media, Christmas starts behind the scenes well before December 25th in July when festive collections are showcased to media so journalists can forward plan their features. Lead times can be three months for monthly print publications and seasonal editions often get wrapped up in September.

At Palm PR, we start talking to media about Christmas early on in the year to align with their schedules. Katie Marshall, Editorial Assistant at Waitrose Kitchen Magazine says about the importance of receiving festive pitches in advance:

It’s good to have stuff on file to bear in mind. It’s a shame when good products come in too late; they can’t be included because we’ve already done the photo shoots and written the copy.”

For the food, drink and hospitality industry, the same rule applies. Brands need to ensure that they are launching festive product ranges and menus well ahead of time to align with seasonal tourist visits and the fast paced lives of the modern consumer and professionals, which is evident by people hosting Christmas parties in October or in the New Year.

We need to remember that for many people, Christmas really is the “most wonderful time of the year” and consumers like to sample a range of products including the best mince pies, Christmas puddings or the superior roast potato recipe before making their final selections for Christmas day.

At Palm PR, we are always monitoring the consumer landscape and devising communications strategies well in advance to ensure we maximise key calendar date opportunities including awareness days, Easter, Valentine’s Day and Father’s Day.  Consumer expectations are ever evolving and our prediction is the “Christmas Creep” will probably come earlier year on year – watch this space.