Holiday advertising creeps earlier because of stores, customers | Living

EGG HARBOR TOWNSHIP — You could see it throughout the aisles at Boscov’s: The holidays are here.

Reindeer stood atop racks of clothes, the smell of roasting peanuts wafted through the candy displays and the seasonal section of the department store featured faux Christmas trees advertising ornaments for sale.

It’s something shoppers have gotten used to, the “Christmas creep,” as they are confronted with holiday marketing earlier each year. It may be driven in part by retailers pushing the holiday cheer, but it’s also an effort by stores to meet the demands of shoppers.

“By now we’ve got a lot of holiday shopping going on,” said Sylvia Kusmiesz, manager of human resources at Boscov’s.

Kusmiesz stepped out of her office to see a line of customers waiting to have their gifts wrapped. She said by the beginning of November, Boscov’s has put out all of its holiday-themed decorations.

Elizabeth Siniari, public relations manager at Boscov’s, said holiday marketing before Thanksgiving has become the norm for retailers.

“As a customer, myself, I think sometimes you see things out and about and it makes you think about Christmas already and Thanksgiving hasn’t even gotten here, but I think that’s just typical in the retail world,” she said. “For me, it does spark that thought of, ‘Oh, I need to start buying presents.’”

Shilpa Rathole, of Mays Landing, was looking at pocketbooks Thursday afternoon at Boscov’s. She said she thinks the holiday decorations may put pressure on shoppers.

“It’s not even Thanksgiving yet and we have Rudolph and ‘Holly Jolly Holidays’ signs, but I’m not ready for that,” Rathole said.

Rathole said she’s already hearing Christmas music on the radio and seeing Hallmark Christmas movies on television.

Still, she had clothes slung over her arm that she said were Christmas gifts for her son and mother.

“I am getting ready for Christmas, but it is pressure,” she said.

Some retailers, such as Target, are holding off on putting Christmas signage at the entrances of certain stores.

“They want us to pause, and be really intentional and recognize Thanksgiving,” Rick Gomez, the retailer’s chief marketing officer, told the Associated Press about Target’s customers. “What they don’t want us to do is go right into Christmas. So, we are going to…

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