Sioux Falls Business Journal: Earlier holiday sales create retail challenge

Here’s a preview of my December 9, 2015 Sioux Falls Business Journal cover story, looking at how retailers navigated the trend of consumers doing their Christmas shopping earlier and earlier. Companies like Lewis Drug, Chelsea’s Boutique and Montgomery’s Furniture had to decide whether to push their deals up to September or try to play the long game to serve holiday needs right on to the big day.
You can read the full story by clicking the link below.

The date hasn’t changed, but Christmas still came early this year.

In mid-September, CreditCards.com reported that 32 million Americans, or 14 percent of consumers, had already started hunting for holiday gifts. Even more surprising, 4.6 million were done with their lists.Matthew Stoffel Christmas Timing Sioux Falls Business Journal

Another study by advertising technology company The Rubicon Project at the same time concluded that an even higher number, almost one-third of consumers, were in the midst of shopping.

By Nov. 10, the National Retail Federation reported that 57 percent of consumers had started holiday shopping, up from 16 percent at that time when the organization first started tracking in 2008.

The retail industry has dubbed this trend “holiday creep,” and it has led to early promotion of Christmas items, earlier discounts and a tricky dilemma for businesses that want to make the most of the gift-buying season without putting off customers or losing shoppers’ interest once December arrives.

“I would like to say it’s never too soon, but that isn’t true,” said Brienne Maner, communications and membership director at Downtown Sioux Falls Inc. “There’s a bit of backlash if you start too soon.”

To read the full story, click here.

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