Majority of shoppers think Christmas lines hit the shelves to early, Aldata finds

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Aldata: retailers promote Christmas too early

Aldata: retailers promote Christmas too early

Shoppers believe retailers shouldn’t start promoting Christmas goods so early, according to a survey by retail and distribution optimisation software supplier, Aldata.

It found 88% of people think seasonal items hit the shelves too soon each year and would prefer retailers not to promote them until at least the middle of November.

“Christmas seems to come to the shop floor earlier each year and with Halloween’s popularity rising in recent years, supermarkets are struggling to accommodate the convergence of different promotions and seasonal stock without causing confusion for their customers,” said Matt Robinson, market development director, Aldata.

With 5% of grocery shopping for Christmas having already occurred, for many shoppers Christmas is already here, said researchers. Despite this, over half of shoppers (72%) stated early Christmas stocking results in irrelevant items hitting the shelves for the time of year and takes focus off of other essential items.

In a competitive marketplace retailers are starting Christmas promotions as early as possible to engage with shoppers in an attempt to capture the consumers’ Christmas basket, said Aldata.

Robinson said: “Promotions are designed to protect retailers’ existing customers and attract shoppers away from competitors. However, there’s a clear balancing act as customers are extremely fickle and are shop hopping to get a deal. This means retailers need to manage early stocking to meet shopping missions and win customer loyalty.

“It is clear from a shopper’s perspective retailers are promoting Christmas too early. Although it makes sense to begin once Halloween has ended, the battle amongst retailers for our festive spend will mean Christmas will continue to come early to stores.

“For shoppers, the best thing to do is take advantage of opportunities to save on items during the extended build up to Christmas. For retailers finding the balance of not alienating existing customers, whilst attempting to attract new shoppers with an engaging in-store experience and relevant promotional programmes, will determine their seasonal success and longer-term results through 2013.”