Do you really need to do holiday shopping early?

Caroline Champlin Nov 1, 2021
Heard on:
HTML EMBED:
COPY
People wearing protective masks walk by holiday windows in New York City. Cindy Ord/Getty Images

Do you really need to do holiday shopping early?

Caroline Champlin Nov 1, 2021
Heard on:
People wearing protective masks walk by holiday windows in New York City. Cindy Ord/Getty Images
HTML EMBED:
COPY

Retailers are encouraging shoppers to buy holiday gifts early this year, because they say that will help avoid delays caused by supply chain backlogs and labor shortages. But is that warning more of a marketing gimmick?

Retailers have reasons to get folks buying earlier.

People who do their holiday shopping before Thanksgiving spend 23% more on average than those who shop after, said Rod Sides with Deloitte.

And, his wife is one of them – she’s heeding the call of holiday advertisements.

“She started several weeks ago to pick up the items for our kids. So she’s taking it to heart,” he said.

But is the pressure from retailers just a marketing tactic?

Columbia business professor Mark Cohen said well, yeah, it’s all marketing.

“It’s marketing based upon insecurity and the unknown,” he said.

The unknown of supply chains, labor, or consumer behavior. 

But Cohen said it is possible that stuff people are buying now – for supposedly Black Friday prices – will still be there by Black Friday, and get marked down further.

“If it happens, it’s a tremendous breach of faith. And it will cause damage,” he said, adding that consumers will notice and remember.

We’re here to help you navigate this changed world and economy.

Our mission at Marketplace is to raise the economic intelligence of the country. It’s a tough task, but it’s never been more important.

In the past year, we’ve seen record unemployment, stimulus bills, and reddit users influencing the stock market. Marketplace helps you understand it all, will fact-based, approachable, and unbiased reporting.

Generous support from listeners and readers is what powers our nonprofit news—and your donation today will help provide this essential service. For just $5/month, you can sustain independent journalism that keeps you and thousands of others informed.