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Christmas in July sales a good idea: report


March 30, 2010
By Amanda Ryder


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earlychristmas.jpgNEWS HIGHLIGHT

Christmas in July sales
a good idea: report

A Unity Marketing Gifting study finds that most
consumers start their Christmas shopping early and this is something
retailers should take advantage of.

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.

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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."