Why Are Retailers Running Holiday Promotions So Early?

The temperature in Scottsdale is still sizzling at 107 degrees, but have you noticed the Halloween candy lining the shelves at Fry’s? In a whirlwind of busy days, you might find yourself wondering if time has slipped through your fingers. However, take a moment to consider the increasing trend among retailers who are jumping the gun on holiday promotions.

As a seasoned marketer, I’d typically wave a caution flag at such an early onset of festive ads. But, is there more to this early jingle than meets the eye? Surprisingly, studies show that consumers aren’t exactly thrilled by the premature holiday advertisements. This raises a curious question: Why are retailers racing to deck the halls earlier than ever before?

The answer lies in an unexpected factor: inflation.

Retailers’ Strategy Amid Rising Inflation

According to insights from Insider Insight, retailers are strategically advancing their holiday promotions due to consumers’ growing concerns about inflation. This move isn’t just about putting out holiday cheer ahead of time; it’s a calculated step to stimulate holiday sales.

The strategy serves a dual purpose. Not only does it prevent retailers from being stuck with an excess of unsold inventory, but it also eases the pressure to achieve last-minute sales spikes that often characterize the end-of-season rush.

The Perils of Premature Promotions

While the idea of festive commercials in October may sound merry and bright, there’s a downside: consumer fatigue. Bombarding shoppers with Christmas-themed ads while the leaves are still changing can lead to weariness even before Thanksgiving arrives. It can feel like retailers are attempting to hurry shoppers into the holiday spirit before they’re prepared. This pressure isn’t conducive to a relaxed shopping experience. After all, who wants to feel pushed into the festivities before they’ve even had a chance to enjoy their Halloween treats?

Thanksgiving: A Forgotten Feast

An unintended consequence of early holiday campaigns is the overshadowing of Thanksgiving. This late-November holiday has gradually lost its spotlight as Christmas marketing creeps into the autumn landscape. Some retailers even opt to remain open on Thanksgiving, shifting their focus to Black Friday deals.

While it’s undeniable that the holiday shopping season is a critical time for retailers’ revenue, sidelining Thanksgiving altogether doesn’t sit well with many consumers. The sentiment is clear: let’s not skip over the turkey and gratitude.


As temperatures soar and fall flavors tempt our taste buds, the debate over early holiday promotions rages on. While retailers may have their reasons – driven by concerns about inflation and the quest for steady sales – they should tread carefully. Premature holiday campaigns could lead to a sense of fatigue among consumers, overshadow Thanksgiving, and even create negative brand perceptions.

Striking the right balance between generating sales and respecting the natural flow of the holiday season is a challenge worth addressing. After all, nothing warms the heart quite like a well-timed cup of hot cocoa and the joy of holiday shopping that comes when the time is just right.