Christmas in July? Really?

DISCUSSION TOPIC

Bah, Humbug to Christmas in July Promos 07-07-2011

TOPIC SUMMARY:

A piece on The Street website Click here maintains that the number of retailers running “Christmas in July” promotions is down from last year and that’s a positive since the events do little to drive incremental volume.

Among those planning to run promotions hoping to get an early jump on the competition for the winter holiday season are Target and Toys “R” Us.

Target is bringing back its “Back in Black Friday” event offering discounts up to 50 percent on toys, consumer electronics and entertainment products.

Toys “R” Us is running its “Christmas in July” event with discounted merchandise. The Street reports the toy chain has discontinued the Christmas Savers Club it introduced during the event last year.

Nikoleta Panteva, retail analyst at IBISWorld, told The Street, “The Christmas in July promotions put in place last year did not result in a broad-based sales increase, as anticipated. Overall, the promotion’s strategy seemed to be more of sustaining sales rather than boosting them.”

A poll of RetailWire readers last November found most thought there was a small (38 percent) to no (29 percent) advantage to starting Christmas-themed promotions well in advance of the holiday season. Twenty-seven percent said there was a medium to big advantage to be gained by starting early.

Discussion questions:  Will retailers running “Christmas in July” promotions be more successful as others who ran similar programs in the past forgo them this year? Are there keys to running successful “out of season” promotions?

My post:

The consumer who will respond to a Christmas in July promotion is not prevalent enough to warrant an in-store event targeting all shoppers.  That is why they haven’t “worked” in the past – not enough consumers are interested.  However, some are.  And the retailer with strong CRM capability who understands individual consumer desires will target these individuals via their desired medium:  email, text, direct mail, phone, etc.  General storewide promotions need to either be in season, or be interesting enough to stop the average shopper and make them say, “I need to check this out!”  Christmas in July does not qualify…

Mike Osorio, your Dare to be Contagious! ™ strategist

www.OsorioGroup.com

What do you think?  Please add your comments and add to the discussion!

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Go to the full article at Retailwire.com:  Bah, Humbug to Christmas in July Promos

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