By at 5 October, 2023, 6:16 pm

by Rieva Lesonsky  – 

As a consumer, are you upset that October just started and there’s Christmas merchandise in many retail stores? Do you think it’s too soon? According to Bob Phibbs, the author of one of my favorite retail newsletters, The Retail Doctor, it is not.

In fact, he writes, if you’re a retailer, you should be embracing “Christmas Creep” because—“wallets.” Phibbs explains, “Most customers have a mental budget for the holidays: decorations, gifts for the family, teachers/coaches, and the office—the works. The sooner those customers have spent money earmarked for gift-giving, the less they will spend at the traditional time to think about buying holiday gifts.”

As I noted a few weeks ago, 2023 holiday retail sales are expected to grow, both online and in-store. Phibbs says if you want to get your share, you need to “get out there now.”

According to Phibbs, it’s time “to put out the Christmas merchandise now.” He notes that this isn’t new, “but smaller retailers have resisted.”

Phibbs isn’t saying to put these goods in “your display windows or prime selling space.” Instead, his advice is to start now and continue to put more holiday merchandise out in November and December.

If you are a retailer, you need to get your seasonal goods out now, Phibbs says, “before a competitor steals your customers and gets them to open their wallets now—leaving you with lower retail holiday sales.”

Santa stock image by Willrow Hood/Shutterstock

Want more trends? Find more at Currents.

Rieva Lesonsky is president and CEO of two companies that focus on small business and entrepreneurship – GrowBiz Media and She’s a nationally-known speaker, best-selling author, award-winning journalist, and authority on entrepreneurship who has covered the industry for more than 40 years. Before starting GrowBiz Media, she was the long-time editorial director of Entrepreneur magazine. Lesonsky has written several books about small business, including the best-selling Start Your Own Business, and Small Business Hacks: 100 Shortcuts to Success.


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