Does Christmas Stuff Go On Sale Too Early?

Does Christmas Stuff Go On Sale Too Early?

We’ve become used to the reality that Christmas decorations, cards and food will hit supermarkets and discount stores in September (if not sooner). But that has an even more irritating corollary: it means Christmas gear can actually be marked down in early November.

Instagram user ozdj makes the point with a picture of a packet of Cadbury Christmas-themed biscuits that have been put on sale:

Supermarkets already having clearance sales on Christmas lines. When will they stop the peddling of Christmas crap from Sep-Oct?!

Does the ever-earlier Christmas bother you, or are you happy that goods are becoming cheaper before the day? Share your perspective in the comments.


  • The retailer I work for is dropping the Xmas catalogs today, so our Xmas sale is finished by the end of November, that way they can pretty much put everything back to full price for the December rush. I have worked in Retail for nearly 24 years, Xmas is a scam, Xmas carols start in the last week of October for us, by early December its non stop Carols (thankfully we can turn off the PA system) people get ruder and more demanding each year. Bigger sales budgets but less staff to do the work, Buyers that dont order enough of the stuff that people want, but load the stores up with self branded product that no one wants to buy.
    Thankfully I only work part time now, for staff at the coalface of retail this is coming up to the most dreaded time of year. Xmas blows.

  • It bugs me, but I don’t know if it bugs me as much as seeing Easter eggs and hot cross buns going on display come New Year’s Day.

    I think the problem is we’re taking our cues from the U.S. on when to start the sales, but not why. They generate the spending frenzy as the lead-in to Thanksgiving and Black Friday – their biggest shopping day of the year – then just keep going until Christmas. We’ve started using the same timeline, but with no Thanksgiving and our biggest selling day being either Christmas Eve or Boxing Day, we just get 3 months of Christmas.

    • It would be interesting to determine why they play it. I wonder if it causes a subconscious desire to start buying things for Christmas.

  • The true victims of this practice are small children, most of whom have no concept of time. As soon as they see the decorations in storefront windows they think it’s Christmas tomorrow.

  • “And the Grinch, with his Grinch-feet ice cold in the snow, stood puzzling and puzzling, how could it be so? It came without ribbons. It came without tags. It came without packages, boxes or bags. And he puzzled and puzzled ’till his puzzler was sore.

    Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before. What if Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store. What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more.”

  • What if Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store. What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit moreNope… comes from a store….! 🙂

  • It doesn’t bother me. Most stores have numerous items that I am not interested in buying and as a rational and well adjusted adult I have learned how to navigate a store to find the items I am interested in buying.

    As for early decorations, it’s more of a neutral observation rather than anything that promotes a negative or positive feeling. It helps that I know that mall decorations are installed by only a handful of companies in Australia and so they go up based on that scheduling.

    Putting out christmas items has a cost, in terms of rent for that space and the opportunity cost of putting something else in that space. Obviously there is some positive benefit to the company to do it, and that probably means that there are some people who find themselves wanting to buy Christmas items in October. If that is the case, I’m hardly going to resent it.

    People have been complaining that christmas marketing starts earlier and earlier every year, for years and years. I remember them saying this as a boy. One would think the lead up to Christmas starts January 1.

    People like to be irritated and offended. They get off on it.

  • I guess if I’m prepared (and very happy) to see Hot Cross Buns just after Christmas, then I need to accept that Christmas will start in August or September. The longer the stock is out, then the more chance I may see something I want and get it at a discount.
    Adelaide had their Christmas Pageant on the weekend, and for me that has always been the start of Christmas, regardless of the fact that Woolies has had homebrand mince pies for probably 4-6 weeks already.

  • I’d be cool with this stuff going on sale in July. What I hate, are the Xmas carols. The only one I can tolerate is where Santa dies in the chimney and the kids are wondering what the godawful stench is. Not sure who sung it, but I heard it on the radio when I went to the US to stay with my girlfriend / wife.

    But I reckon Hot X buns need to be on sale all year. They’re delicious.

  • Further to my earlier rant, bloody Xmas carols, the retailer I work for starts them up in November, thankfully we can bypass them and put on the radio (not much better though) or I plug in my iPod and play music podcasts, but 1 large retailer I used to work for would start playing them in October, they would play 3 or 4 normal songs then a random Carol, until we hit November 1 and they were on constantly until January 1, customers used to say it would be nice working all day with them in the background, try for 40+ hours a week, for nearly 10 weeks. NO! Its not nice!

  • As any retail worker would agree, Christmas items are sold way too early. At big w we have up a Christmas section, music, red uniforms, posters and banners, and it’s been going on since mid September, and it’s driving me mad.
    Why do we spend almost 4 months in preparation for this one day?
    I like Christmas, but maybe keep it to December?

  • My daughter (2) has been asking to see Santa. So that she can get presents since June. We have no idea how it got into her head, but she lets us know a few times each day what she wants from him.

    Wonder if she will be brave enough to sit on his lap this year….

    Ps. I like the Xmas carols, they remind me to relax, ignore all the bs that the retails try to push and enjoy Xmas for what it was meant to be.

  • Which store will be brave enough to start marking Thanksgiving in Australia along with Black Friday in a triumph of commercial greed?

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