Thursday, August 16, 2007

Seasonal Commerce

Someone on the radio mentioned seeing Halloween stuff in a store -- in the last week of July. July!

At first this bothered me. Personally, I don't want to see Halloween decorations before October. September should be about Labor Day (even though it's a commie idea), the end of summer and back to school. August should be about nothing but the fact that it is about nothing (dog days, "silly season," everyone is on vacation). So Halloween decorations on sale in July seems premature.

After a second thought I reconsidered; the store probably knows what it is doing. Selling decorations is entirely different from using them. If a store can make a profit selling Halloween stuff in July, why shouldn't it? The people who get upset about this are confused about the retailer's purpose. His purpose is to make a profit, not to celebrate holidays. The retailer has to put the holiday items out before people use them in order to get the business.

So go ahead retailers: make it Christmas in July if you want. If nothing else, you provoke angry radio hosts to talk about you. You know the old line -- no publicity is bad publicity.


Rational Jenn said...

I saw Christmas decorations in a couple little knick-knacky shops in the North Georgia mountains just last weekend. My first thought was "Already?" and then, like you, I thought the shop owners were pretty ingenious. Especially since the customers they get are from out of town but might like a tree ornament or something to commemorate their visit.

You're right--big difference between selling the stuff and say, decorating your yard for Halloween in March and letting the decorations sit out until October.

Yay for capitalism!

By the way, I am enjoying your blog very much.

Myrhaf said...

Thanks, Rational Jenn. Do you have a blog I can link to?

dismuke said...

Clearly they wouldn't be doing it if it did not make financial sense.

What drives me a bit nuts, however, is not so much when they are ahead of the seasons but when they abandon the one already in progress. For example, a couple of years ago I had a window air conditioner go out in either late August or early September. Here in Texas it is VERY hot in August and we can even have 100 degree temperatures some years well into September. Furthermore, the window unit was not for my place but for my tenant's so it was not a matter of me simply doing without and suffering for a few weeks. The problem is the first couple of big box stores I went to told me that all window air conditioners had been removed in order to make room for things such as space heaters and fireplace supplies. That might even make sense if we had cold weather in September. But we don't. The earliest that weather cold enough to require much in the way of heaters gets to these parts is in late October. The date of the average first frost is something like November 17. So if one needs things like air conditioners very late in the season - well, one might very well end up being out of luck.