My Photo
Blog powered by Typepad

« Stayin' Alive... | Main | The scoop on e-mail marketing »

November 18, 2004



I also agree with all comments in here. Im from Australia and holidays now are becoming jus a period to rid your ears of christmas ringin bells and prepare for the next profit raising event which we call easter. Its was January 5th when i saw stores stocking there first easter products. Easter doesnt begin to the end of March. Money hungry or what?

Marilyn Langfeld

I agree completely. I was shocked at the commercialism that's spiraled out of control in the US, when I came back a few years ago, after spending 12 years in Switzerland. While their system of authorizing storewide sales only twice a year (January and July) is a little too restrictive to suggest, it does show that our "discount" mentality isn't universal. Christmas advertising and music is reserved for December, even without a Thanksgiving holiday to push it forward.

Try Kinko's. They have T-Mobile wireless too, though no lattes.

Colin McKay

I have to echo Alex' comments above. In the U.S., your late November Thanksgiving acts as a "holiday buffer," preventing retailers from putting out their Christmas decorations too early.

Our Thanksgiving is in October, so Christmas season up North begins on November 1.

But it gets worse. Here in Ottawa, the #1 A/C format radio station is making great hay out of switching to 24 hr Christmas music - yesterday!


Love the post, but I don't think companies are starting to swing back to what's important at all. The X-mas trend in moving up year after year -- why is that? It drives me nuts, it is making you crazy as well as the employees at Starbucks. But i tmust be appealing to someone.


What a timely blog post! I just got back from a local pharmacy chain that is doing quite well against the big box WalMart invasion in Canada...

I was browsing an aisle and happened on some cologne when one of the cosmeticians smirked at 'ol Blue Eyes singing his tune...I turned and said, "What, too early?"...she says, "Uh yeaaaah." I think people are getting sick and tired of it.

Just a few weeks back, we had Halloween, which instantly got cleared out with CHRISTMAS stuff -- this early? You bet. I am hearing the same tune every year and it's getting more serious.

People are tuning out to the commerical engine of Christmas...the excess is getting to people. With the way the world is now, people should know better than to fall for the trap that 'material accumulation' will gain happiness. No, for most, it gives them more unhappiness and a headache because in a rush to make others feel better, they make themselves worse off by lumping more DEBT/credit (not wealth) onto their shoulders...with consumer debt at record highs, I think people have to start with a 'pact' among family members and focus on time together rather than the transfer of goods.

Christmas music at this time of year - whatever. Happy Thanksgiving to my American neighbours.


I'd be curious to lean what Starbucks' strategy is in places south of the equator. All that "chestnuts roasting on an open fire" and "white christmas" schlock would be somewhat out of context in say, Rio or Sydney.

On a lighter note (pun intended), the Starbucks located inside other stores (ala Safeway or B&N) are not able to bathe their customers with geriatric xmas culture, and somewhat more appealing because of it.

I promise this, however: the first coffee shop that proclaims itself Christmas-free will get my undying loyalty for life.

John Jantsch

Let's not forget those holiday cups too!

You know there is a positioning opportunity in all of
this. I have a client that runs an independent, very
unique gift and home decor store. They make a point of
not putting anything holiday related out until after
Thanksgiving and they promote the heck out of this fact
and even have a countdown "10 more days until we think
it's time to put out the Christmas decorations." It was
born out of the fact that the owner is a bit of a
maverick but over the years it has become an important
part of their brand.


We in Malaysia had a similar situation, when Nokia played all their new ringtones in the train. At every station they played a new tone. Imagine a passenger's feeling during rush hours, when one is already feeling like being in a sardine can. You cannot run away because you have to go to work or want to go home. I believe that not too many passengers were happy. Here is the link to it, in case you are interested:

Steve Portigal

Last year I encountered for the first time a Christmas-only radio station. Obviously it's some form of pop-up media, and I don't know when they start - it was early November in upstate New York and I found the station flipping around in the rental car.


Totally. We've hit a few stores (not Starbucks) that have taken to playing holiday music on the overhead speakers. Immediately, everyone's mood soured out, I noticed, including the employees of the store. It would be one thing if they started it up say, 11/24, but we're talking 11/6-ish. Ca-mon!

Ya gotta figure that people have enough stress in their lives without thinking that the countdown for holiday shopping is furiously ticking off the seconds when you haven't gotten your thanksgiving dinner plans ironed out yet (presuming you're into that sort of thing, for our international readers).

Hopefully this is being passed along to whoever is pushing the envelope and they get a clue really quick-like that this strategy has "backfire" written all over it.

The comments to this entry are closed.