Flooring The Consumer on Simple Marketing Now

Please visit Flooring The Consumer's new home on SimpleMarketingNow.com where you can subscribe to receive updates to blog articles in real time!

Monday, November 19, 2007

The Grinch Who Stole November's Christmas

The Grinch originally uploaded by Graubart.
It's that time of year again... when something has to be done.

No surprise, it came up last year in Elmo Saves Christmas,... But Not From Retailers. This year, with so much added wisdom under my belt, I'm wondering whether to induct unimaginative retailers into David Meerman Scott's Interruption Marketing Hall of Shame.

[BTW, the title to this post is my daughter's suggestion - her alternate choice: The Grinch Who Stole November's Thanksgiving.]

Yes, Thanksgiving is coming right up. It's even early this year. Most consider Thanksgiving the official launch of the Christmas [shopping] season. And, yet, retailers continue to outdo one another to get the process started sooner.

Target: while shopping for my daughter's Hallowe'en costume in early/mid October at Target, we kept stepping into the Christmas section which abutted the costumes. The Christmas stuff has now taken over all of that real estate....

Town Center Mall in Kennesaw, GA: not only was it decorated to the max on Thursday, November 8 [including music blaring], but it also had Santa and elves looking bored and desperate for customers.

These past weekends, wherever we've gone, we've been assaulted with holiday tunes and red & green decorations. My daughter [6] has gone up to shopkeepers asking: "Where is your Thanksgiving stuff?" To me, "Momma, why don't stores respect Thanksgiving?" And, since she has blended Veterans Day with Thanksgiving: "We need to say thank you to our Veterans. And the stores are ignoring them!"

Now, the outlook for the 2007 Christmas retail season seems grim [see The Holiday Shopping Outlook: I Saw Mommy Dissing Santa Claus from 11/14/2007 and Penney, Kohl's Predict Tough Holidays from 11/16/2007 by Emily Fredrix] given the host of economic worries, an excessively warm fall that left too many back-to-school goods in stores, and too many retail stores. And, the jury is out as to how much retail sales will be up [see Black Friday, Opaque as Ever. Why Forecasting Firms' Holiday-Sales Predictions Just Lead to Uncertainty by Emily Bryson York from 11/19/2007. Note the comment that "consumers will start shopping later than ever this year..." ]

The prediction is for deep desperate discounts benefiting bargain hunting consumers [see Closeout Racks Overflowing for Holidays by Mark Jewell 11/16/2007].

Shopping Bargains Before the First Bite of Turkey from 11/17/2007 by Michael Barbaro details those retailers getting started early - Toys R Us, CompUSA and Kmart [open Thanksgiving Day], JC Penney - even offering pumpkin pie to get shoppers in the mood. Wal-Mart has been holding mini-Black-Friday sales throughout November. Best Buy however is deliberately waiting until 5am on Friday to open its doors. Then there's Some Black Friday sales to begin on Wednesday....

I actually admire these particular shows of seasonal shopping exuberance. For those consumers wanting to take part, they can. Those who don't [myself included] can simply remain blissfully unaffected.

What I don't appreciate are the heavy-handed approaches many retailers push relentlessly onto consumers -- moves that are the equivalent of interruption marketing:
- Christmas music in malls and stores in October and November? That doesn't fly when the kids are busy singing about witches and goblins, Veterans and giving thanks.
- Santa and elf photo ops in November? Keep Santa boxed up until after Thanksgiving.
- Red, green, tinsel and ornaments in October? Wait until after orange/black and orange/red/brown/black and green have had their moments of glory.

By staying out of stores in October, I was able to ignore it. I'm back in stores and I can't run. So, please, give me back my November. Don't overexpose me to Christmas and make kids [and me] gag upon hearing those fake hohohos. I'll delight in them and in you if the season is right.

Grinch, steal the fake November's Christmas so we can truly treasure the magic of the real Christmas season! Help retailers remember how to cleverly draw customers in without resorting to unimaginative interruption marketing methods.

Technorati Tags:
Del.icio.us Tags:

No comments:

Post a Comment

Reminder: Please, no self-promotional or SPAM comments. Don't bother if you're simply trying to build inauthentic link juice. Finally, don't be anonymous: it's too hard to have a conversation. Thanks, CB

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...