This is not the year to criticize Christmas in October

Image of a pumpkin wearing a Christmas stocking cap, sunglasses, and a bowtie, smoking a pipe.

Walk into any big box retailer this time of year and you’re bound to hear the same sentiment uttered under at least one person’s breath — “Christmas decorations already?” It’s true that it’s not even Halloween, and it does seem early, but I’d argue that if there was ever a year for retailers (and companies in general) to go big, it’s 2021.

Hear me out — despite staffing challenges, international supply chain issues, the chip shortage, and general uncertainty over the Delta variant, consumers more than ever want to consume. The New York Times reported that despite an expectation of decreased spending, sales in September climbed .07%, a two month gain. They said “the increase in spending was broad-based, with sales at restaurants and bars, clothing stores and home goods stores climbing.” Anecdotally this matches what we all are seeing in our own neighborhoods: restaurants are full, stores are packed, and people are out to spend.

So what does this mean for marketers? While we are facing the unprecedented challenges listed above, success will come to those who are most creative. Commerce is happening, and those who think outside the box will make the sales and come out ahead. Own a business dealing with supply chain issues? Pull out the surplus Christmas stock from last year or source new stock from unorthodox suppliers. The same goes for B2B — it’s time to anticipate market shifts and adapt quickly. Those that do so have an opportunity to ride a “once in a lifetime” wave of spending.

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