Holiday Decoration Inflation? Not Nordstrom!

Year after year it seems as though stores are putting out their holiday décor and products earlier and earlier. Towards the end of September and the beginning of October, we are forced to start thinking about Halloween. What kind of candy should we buy? How should we decorate our home? And before Halloween is even over, we are then faced with these same questions over Thanksgiving. If that’s not enough, stores have even started to throw Christmas in the mix as early as the first week in November. So how are we supposed to plan for not one, not two, but three holidays all within a few weeks!?

With various stores being as competitive as they are, most businesses have been pushing their holiday campaigns earlier and earlier in order to gain an edge in overall sales. Long gone are the days of waiting until Black Friday to unveil their Christmas campaign. Stores like Wal-Mart, Target, Macy’s, JCPenny’s and Kohl’s have all started to decorate their stores for a holiday that’s still over a month away. Is it just holiday madness or capitalistic greed spearheading this holiday decoration inflation? Did I mention that just about everyone has already revealed their Black Friday shopping ad as well?

Nordstrom however, has taken a stand in recent years against this now frequently practiced tradition. They have stated that they will not be decorating their store for Christmas until the day after Thanksgiving. Why you ask? As explicitly stated on various signs hung around their store and on their doors, they believe in “celebrating one holiday at a time.” So the big question is: does delaying their holiday ad hurt their overall sales? In short, no.

Most retailers want to start their holiday campaign as early as possible because their sales tend to increase. However, it important to note that while many stores that do this have impressive 3Q sales to report, many tend to dip in the 4Q because of reduced prices on items that failed to sell during the holiday season. Nordstrom has been the exception to this though because instead of selling discounted clothes that failed to sell earlier, they roll out new clothing designs the week after Christmas.  This tactic, coupled with the delayed seasonal ad, has boosted their 4Q earnings.

In closing, I would like to say that I am thankful for a company like Nordstrom for outsmarting everyone and proving that you don’t have to prematurely impose the holiday season on your customers in order to be successful.

What do you guys think?

Nicole Betterbid, Rachel Betterbid, Lucy Rojo, Sierra Scellato, Shauna Seaver

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19 thoughts on “Holiday Decoration Inflation? Not Nordstrom!

  1. I think it is a great thing what Nordstrom is doing. Too many stores advertise holiday specials way too early and I feel like it diminishes the specialness of the holiday. When I see Christmas ads in October, it makes December feel less important. I know a lot of people who shop on Black Friday but have never participated myself. The whole idea of it seems outrageous to me and overrated. I am happy Nordstrom is doing things the right way and I support their decision.

  2. I also agree with this blog and with Nordstorm. I hate the fact of ads and anything to do with Christmas is before thanksgiving. For example I was watching tv one week before Halloween and saw the Christmas Target ad, I was disgusted. The thought of already shoving Christmas in people’s face really disturbs me. I think that most giant companies have totally sold out and worry nothing but about their profits. I also have noticed the opening times on black friday get earlier and earlier. Target is opening at 9 pm on thursday which makes me sick. I think people should be home with there families instead of planning a tactic on how to get a toy or tv.

  3. I definitely agree with Nordstrom in saying that we should celebrate one holiday at a time. I think it is crazy that stores are having decorations, sales, flyers and even commercials advertising Christmas and the Holiday season the first week in November. Yes it does get people thinking about it but the holidays come at the same time every year and we all know what Black Friday is. I got my work schedule for Black Friday a week before Halloween. I think companies and stores need to slow down. Like most major department stores they have a pretty solid customer base and advertising and putting up decorations later will not hurt their purchases.

  4. So glad someone wrote about this!!! This bothers me so much. I believe in celebrating one holiday at a time as well. And stores are even pushing up when “Black Friday” starts too, each year it’s earlier. A lot of main stores are opening at 8pm on Thanksgiving Day! I’m so glad to hear about Nordstrom taking a stand, and that it did them some good!

  5. Personally, I am a strong believer in celebrating one holiday at a time. Especially when it comes to Thanksgiving and Christmas. Thanksgiving means so much to not only our country, but to my family. Don’t get me wrong I loveeeeee shopping, but I definitely don’t think that we should be replacing shopping and products with holidays that define our most precious times spent with the people who mean the most to me! Go Nordstrom 🙂

  6. I think that Nordstrom is just making themselves stand out more against their competition. While most other stores think they are making more money, Nordstrom is building up anticipation for their costumers instead of overwhelming them with holiday supplies. I really enjoyed reading this!

  7. I think companies should follow Nordstrom’s lead. Is it absolutely necessary to decorate so early? We are bombarded with Christmas throughout the whole months of November and December, but do we have to see it in all the stores we frequent? In October? I agree with you- Nordstrom has outsmarted the competition, and they have done so without following the Christmas craze. I think this is a smart and effective tactic and I applaud the company for this.

  8. I tend to agree. All of the holiday advertising in stores, even grocery stores, has become chaotic. There’s this huge mashup of leftover Halloween candy and prematurely built Coca-Cola can Christmas trees thrown all over the stores, and during the same month. Holidays have become a gimmick for these huge corporations to just sell their products. I feel like they may be at risk of losing their actual meanings.

    I’ve also noticed a number of sales advertising huge sales on Thanksgiving Day itself. Check out news report on “Black Thursday”: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MTxlMycDajE

  9. I had previously heard about Nordstrom taking a stand against the premature holiday season and was happy to hear that someone was finally making a change. The holiday season is such a special time and should not be rushed. It’s actually a time when families should sit back and think about all the things they have to be thankful for, rather than rushing through everything. I believe that by deciding not to rush the Christmas season, Nordstrom actually made a marketing decision that will increase their sales, rather than hurt them. People like the idea that Nordstrom is trying to preserve the significance of the holiday season, rather than shoving it on people. I believe this act will prove to help sales and cause more people to want to shop at their store.

    • I had previously heard about Nordstrom taking a stand against the premature holiday season and was happy to hear that someone was finally making a change. The holiday season is such a special time and should not be rushed. It’s actually a time when families should sit back and think about all the things they have to be thankful for, rather than rushing through everything. I believe that by deciding not to rush the Christmas season, Nordstrom actually made a marketing decision that will increase their sales, rather than hurt them. People like the idea that Nordstrom is trying to preserve the significance of the holiday season, rather than shoving it on people. I believe this act will prove to help sales and cause more people to want to shop at their store.

  10. I could not agree more, just like Nordstrom, I cannot stand when companies such as Wal Mart and Target have their Christmas decorations out when we haven’t even reached Halloween yet. Before reading this article I wasn’t aware that Nordstrom did this. I think this relates back to Seth’s blog when he’s discussing personal branding, Nordsrom is personal branding themselves on the fact that they will take a stand and will not decorate their stores until the day after Thanksgiving. If they’ve figured out a way to still keep their 4Q high, then other companies not only need to change their ways as well for its not impossible to still make money after 3Q with holding back their Christmas decorations a little while longer, but also just to let the public have that sense of one holiday at a time and let them respect it more by being able to enjoy it.

  11. I found this article very interesting because I did not know that Nordstroms didn’t decorate for Christmas until the day after Thanksgiving. I agree that this should not hurt their sales. I feel like there is a possibility that it could potentially help their brand because they are widening the gap between other brands. By not going with trend by decorating earlier and earlier to compete, they are actually competing. They are trying to make their brand experience more unique by standing alone in this competition.

  12. Personally, I do not mind the mass overload of Christmas decorations before the holidays. I does seem to come earlier and earlier each year though. I can see how companies would want to get a head start on their holiday sales, and for most I’m sure it works. I know that when I go into a store and see the holiday decorations out for the first time, it makes me want to buy everything! But I do respect what Nordstrom is doing. They are a well-respected department store regardless, so I don’t think they are taking a hit from not having their decorations up as early as everyone else, and I am sure most people respect what they are doing as well. I actually did not know that they did this until I read this so I thought it was pretty interesting.

  13. I think that is good what Nordstrom is doing. The holidays are all so rushed these days because you can’t even just think about Halloween. You have to start thinking about Thanksgiving. At Thanksgiving you have to start thinking about decorating your house for Christmas before the turkey decorations are back up in the attic. 102.7 radio station started playing Christmas music on the weekend right after Halloween. I love Christmas music, but that is a bit advanced. We should slow down and celebrate one holiday at a time.

  14. I love this post! I was just talking about this the other day with some friends. Not only are companies decorating early and releasing their black Friday promotions early, they are allowing customers to purchase items at their discounted black Friday price. A close friend of mine just purchased a flat screen T.V. from H.H.Gregg because they were doing a “sneak peak” black Friday preview and allowing customers to purchase items at their black Friday price! I commend Nordstrom for not “following the crowd.” It goes to show that it is better to think smarter not harder!

  15. I was actually just talking about the how the holidays have all started to just mush together. I, for one, do not like going into Lowes to buy a pumpkin to carve for Halloween, and being forced to walk through the Christmas wonderland in the outside department. I think that it is really disappointing that merchandise and store sales have overtaken the holiday spirit. Gone are the days of spending quality time with family over a nice Thanksgiving dinner. Now its “lets hurry up in finish eating so we can go wait in line at Kohl’s for their ‘Black Friday sale’ that starts at 9pm on Thanksgiving day.”
    I really appreciate the fact Nordstrom is holding off on Christmas sales until the day after Thanksgiving, i think this is how it should be everywhere. As if holidays aren’t stressful enough! It would be nice to just do one holiday at a time.

  16. Personally, I find it a little frustrating to see Christmas lights hanging and trees decorated before Thanksgiving. For one, why would you want to skip Thanksgiving? Eating really good food and watching football all day, only to wake up to everything being on sale for cheap sounds pretty awesome to me. But that’s just me I suppose, not everybody likes to eat and watch football as much as I do. Also, I have to question the amount of time that “Christmas spirit” can possibly last. If your buying your tree and getting all decked out before Thanksgiving, I find it hard to believe you’ll still be in the jolly Christmas spirit by the time the second week of December rolls around.

    I think the business aspect of this is all about money (of course). The reason companies are putting their holiday products out so early is because we (the consumers) are stupid enough to keep buying them! If they can sell something in November that they shouldn’t be able to sell until December, they are going to do it. More money is their goal, and they are achieving that come November. I have to respect what Nordstrom is doing. They won’t put out their X-mas decor until the day after Thanksgiving, stating that they like to “celebrate one holiday at a time.” It’s rare to see a company in modern America put money aside for a second to stay true to our tradition.

  17. When I was at church this past sunday and we were talking about Thanksgiving. Mike, the pastor, brought out this letter from Nordstrom and read it to the congregation. He was trying to make a point that Thanksgiving is often a forgotten holiday and is more of a transition to Christmas than a national holiday itself. I think the fact that Nordstrom decided to not put up holiday decorations until after Thanksgiving, makes them stand out and in a good way. A lot of time people get caught up in the whole holiday season starting at halloween, but in actuality Thanksgiving is a holiday that needs to be remembered and given attention to. This makes me respect Nordstrom more as a company and I think makes a lot of other people as well.

  18. This particular blog captured my attention because it was about Nordstrom. I enjoy shopping at Nordstrom because of the clothes and the customer service. My roommate of a few years is also an employee at the Mall of America Nordstrom in Minnesota and I have heard much about their employee standards and such. The backbone of the company and their rules and ways of selling is refreshing. Their most prized asset is their customer service, any Nordstrom employee will tell you. The one holiday at a time is brilliant. I get overwhelmed so fast inside a Wal-Mart or any other store that is shoving Christmas stuff at me in November and even the end of October at times. I am glad to see the facts about the 4Q earnings and that their business tactics do succeed!

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