Christmas in July sales a good idea: report

March 30, 2010
March 30, 2010 - In the U.S., Black Friday - the traditional day after Thanksgiving on which retailers' account tallies switch from red to black - has long been promoted as the most important day on the calendars of marketers wishing to capture the Christmas gift shopper.  New data on the gift shoping habits of consumers proves this perception is wrong.

According to Gifting Report 2010: The Ultimate Guide to the Consumer Gift-Giving Market, a new in-depth report on gifting patterns and behavior, two-thirds of all shoppers who give Christmas gifts started their shopping for Christmas 2009 before Thanksgiving.  Only one-third started shopping on Black Friday or after.

"This is a significant finding for marketers, as it indicates that a large majority of shoppers have started their Christmas shopping long before the traditional beginning of the Christmas shopping season," says Pam Danziger, president of Unity Marketing and author of the new Gifting Report 2010.  "In our study, we also discovered that those who started their shopping early spent up to twice as much on the holiday as did those who started on Black Friday or later in December."

Danziger advises, "The key take away from this finding is clear:  Encourage shoppers to start their Christmas shopping early and they will spend more.  There is a large and powerful market here of year-round Christmas gift shoppers, one that retailers can't afford to ignore.  We advise marketers to start their promotion of Christmas gifts early -- some 22 percent of shoppers work on their Christmas shopping throughout the year."

"This doesn't mean that Christmas trees should show up in stores on Memorial Day; that is off-putting to many and may well drive prospective shoppers from the store.  However, fun promotions like 'Christmas in July' and 'Buy One, Stash One' events will get consumers thinking about Christmas early and encourage shopping all year long."

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