Artificial signals


With retail sales slumping, many retailers have been starting their holiday sales push earlier than ever before. From what I’ve read, this meant putting up Christmas decorations as early as mid-October, well before Halloween. This makes me wonder: does starting the promotion for a given holiday a few weeks earlier actually increase sales for the entire holiday period? Or does it just spread out the same sales dollars over a longer period of time?

Unfortunately, I don’t have the answers to these questions. When you ponder the issue further, it’s really a question about whether a retailer (or any business) can push and pull certain known levers to increase their sales. In this case, they’re putting up the usual markers and signals earlier than before. Will it work? I don’t know. But it will definitely be an interesting tactic to watch as the holiday season progresses.