Pandemic pushing stores to put up holiday displays even earlier this year

While it may seem that Christmas comes earlier every year, the pandemic is making this even more of a reality for 2020.

Living Fresh flower and plant studio in Kitchener is just one of many businesses in the area already in the festive spirit with holiday products out on display.

Owner Tina Sharpe says this is the earliest they’ve ever had these items out and are expecting to get a head start on the Christmas sales because of this.

“We love Christmas, but we try to leave it until later,” she said. “That’s when we’re doing our majority of sales in that very short time frame.”

Laurier marketing professor Shirley Lichti says this strategy also helps small businesses compete with big box stores that already have holiday promotions and Christmas inventory out too.

“That’s a really important time of the year,” she said. “They have to ensure that people are aware of the offerings they have.”

Lichti adds that both small and big businesses are trying to capitalize on the holiday now due to the uncertainty of the future.

“There’s going to be a lot more shipping and supply chain issues there,” she said.

Sharpe was worried at first about the backlash from customers for having the products out so early, but has only had positive responses so far.

“Almost every customer that has come in since Wednesday has purchased something holiday-related,” she said.

Some customers who spoke to CTV News on Saturday say they like how early businesses are promoting Christmas sales this year and bringing much-needed positivity during the pandemic.

“Having your surroundings be nice and special and beautiful makes things easier to get through everything that’s going on,” said Lisa Moffat.

The Art of Home in Cambridge has been stringing lights up for the past two days and is beginning to winterize their displays as well.

“Fourth quarter is the make or break time of the year for retail,” said owner Laura McKenna. “We are spreading out all that holiday traffic and giving people more time to shop safely.”