Christmas come early – consumer demand or retail propaganda?

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Christmas come early – consumer demand or retail propaganda?

Is it really that time of year again? Summer holidays a distant memory, Halloween done and fireworks ready to go off for the next 72 hours. Yep, we’re there, in November and this week all the major retailers are launching their Christmas marketing campaigns. From Morrison’s focus on a ‘magical Christmas’ delivered by their staff to Waitrose’s celebration of special moments our TV advertising is about to be bombarded with images of consumer over-consumption!

Whilst many of us bemoan the sight of the festive season in stores earlier each year, the likes of M&S insist that it is consumer demand that drives the premature decoration of the aisles. What’s more, the rise of online shopping means that people are planning and preparing that much earlier, without having to leave the house.

Marc Bolland, CEO at Marks & Spencer’s pointed out that in the first week of September, the most searched term on its website was ‘Christmas’!

Ultimately, the big question for the retailers is all about the money; will the early festive rush mean consumers spend more this Christmas? Research from Mintel suggests total UK retail sales growth will grow by 2.5% in December to £42bn. So it’s set to be a very Merry Christmas for them at least.

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