Consumerist Calls Christmas a Retail Menace

Unreal. Consumerist is out with another ghastly news flash about Hallmark Christmas ornaments for sale now at CVS drug stores. While they acknowledge the fact that Hallmark introduces their new line every July the fact they are now for sale in a drug store is apparently too much for them.

Just what about retail does Consumerist really understand? Are they experts on the topic of retail or not?

Sales of Hallmark social greeting products are greater in drug stores than any other format of retail in the country. Greater than super stores, greater than independent retailers, even greater than Hallmark’s own shops. Upwards of $400/square foot is the average in social greeting products in drug stores. They are a huge market for Hallmark and a big benefit to retailers. Providing those products is what retailers like CVS call “customer service”.

What Consumerist doesn’t realize is that companies like CVS likely operate by contract with Hallmark and are under obligation to sell seasonal products on specific dates. We don’t know for sure but it is a safe assumption this is the case with two big national operations like CVS and Hallmark. They have operated this way for years and guess why? Because it sells. They are a “for profit” business and make no apologies for that.

Hallmark, by the way, has marketed their collectible ornaments in this fashion since the 1970s. In other words, this isn’t the first September Christmas rodeo for CVS and Hallmark. Why is Consumerist upset now to the point where they are calling this a “retail menace”?

Consumerist has long established itself as anti-Christmas. Why, we don’t particularly understand. More sales are generated thanks to Christmas than any other season of the year. It isn’t a short holiday such as Halloween or even back-to-school. It is a season, greater even than summer. Why does Consumerist hate it so much?

Why are they constantly calling out retailers for selling Christmas products at any time?

There are, believe it or not, year round Christmas stores.

There are, believe it or not, bookstores and craft stores that sell Hallmark Christmas items year round. They are collectible. All Consumerist has to do is peruse Ebay for five minutes to see that even ornaments sold last year are re-sold at higher prices by collectors. The year round availability of these items is crucial for collectors, even if that means they have to go to CVS to get it.

Consumerist would be better advised to stop crapping about Christmas creep and start informing consumers of market place realities that affect them. Christmas items on display in September doesn’t hurt a consumer. If they don’t want it, they don’t buy it. Natural market forces control these things and the truth about Christmas creep is that some years Christmas does well in the fall and others it does not.

Why Consumerist thinks this is a trend and why they might think it is bad is beyond an reasonable thinking.

They just hate Christmas.

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