Retailers around the country are getting ready for back-to-school, clearing their shelves as fast as possible. Unfortunately, several are doing this in a way that continues to train their customers to wait for merchandise to go on sale.
Two national retailers, for example, got into the holiday spirit in 2009 and 2010 by adding “Christmas Lane” holiday item promotions in July as well as a Christmas Club savings plan.
But Christmas in July is a horrible idea, experts say.
The July gimmick dates back to at least 1940, when a film of the same name was released and retailers saw an opportunity to unload their surplus of dusty tinsel packets, frosted fake trees and fossilized candy canes. Last year, however, retailers ratcheted up the hype a bit to speed recession recovery. Results were mixed, but they figure that’s no reason not to do it again this year.
Here’s the big problem: consumers are getting smarter. According to retail experts at Avanade, customers know that things will be cheaper after Christmas so they wait to buy. This Christmas in July business teaches them the same thing — to wait.
Source: The Street, July 2011