(WJAR) — It's called the "Christmas creep."
It’s when holiday products and promotions seem to pop up earlier each year.
This year, because of COVID-19, it's likely retailers will start pushing deals even sooner.
Because long lines and doorbuster deals just can't happen.
“Some retailers are actually taking the stance to say that we're not going to open this year on Thanksgiving at all,” says Kristen Regine, marketing professor at Johnson & Wales University.
Regine says, unlike years past, retailers can't rely on last-minute, in-person sales this holiday season.
“These retailers are finding more innovative ways to make it more easier for us to purchase and to acquire goods and services,” says Regine.
To make up for that lost revenue, retailers need to push early, online sales and offer in-person alternatives, like shop online, pick up in-store, curbside pickup, and same-day delivery.
“COVID-19, potentially, could permanently change consumer behavior moving forward, because we've been in this now for over 6 months,” explains Regine.
The supply chain also presents another issue.
Remember how quickly products flew off the shelves in the Spring?
Remember all those shipping delays?
We could see similar problems as we get closer to Christmas.
“If I wait as a consumer, will it be available?” asks Regine.
In fact, it might actually benefit consumers to take advantage the Christmas Creep, especially since companies like UPS and Fedex have already announced holiday shipping surcharges in anticipation of a surge in online orders.