While some people are still struggling to pay their 2014 Christmas Debt, Wal-Mart thinks Christmas season starts now and trying to get consumers to start their holiday shopping now.
On Thursday, Wal-Mart WMT, +1.93% announced that it was “gearing up for the 2015 holiday season” by launching its first-ever Toy Week (a sneak peek at some of the top toys for the holiday season) and starting its holiday layaway program on Friday, giving consumers from now until Dec. 14 to pay for their Christmas presents. This is “a full two weeks earlier than last year,” the company boasted in an email sent this morning.
In other words, it’s official — Christmas creep now starts in August.
Getty Images: Only 100+ shopping days until Christmas!
Molly Blakeman, a spokeswoman for Wal-Mart, said that the company knows that not all customers are ready to do their holiday shopping this early in the year, but some are — and the early layaway program will help them.
What’s more, they’re not the only retailer who starts thinking about Christmas when it’s still 90 degrees out. In 2013, Kmart SHLD, +12.21% launched a holiday commercial just a few days after Labor Day. And Hobby Lobby begins selling Christmas decorations in May.
This, we have no doubt, is going to dismay many Americans. More than seven in 10 Americans say they are either “annoyed” or “very annoyed” when they see holiday items in stores before Halloween, a survey by data firm RichRelevance found.
And while some shoppers may not be ready to think about decking the halls when they’re still on summer break, some people — roughly one in 10 Americans — are all about the Christmas Creep, saying they either “like” or “love” when retailers load up the shelves with holiday items before Halloween. And layaway plans do help lots of consumers — particularly those who have poor credit or little money — get the items they want for the holidays.
Via (Market Watch)