Here’s a didja know: The term “Christmas in July” did not come from Madison Avenue in an effort to sell more washer/dryers. In fact, the idea of Christmas in July can be traced back to an 1892 French opera.
Having said that, yep, by the 1950s, advertising executives started using the phrase in print ads in an effort to move product, and it wasn’t long before the concept took hold.
But with Christmas, Hanukkah, and the rest of the holiday season still six months away, does anyone really start their shopping now?
Short answer: Yes. While the vast majority – nearly 80% – of Americans who plan to do holiday shopping this year start their shopping sometime before Thanksgiving and the first two weeks of December, 8% of the country has already started shopping. Additionally, 13% of would-be shoppers wait until crunch time to start.
Here’s a quick look at some other Christmas in July trends …
THANKS, GRANDMA AND GRANDPA!: People over the age of 55 are more than twice as likely to have started their holiday shopping than those under 25 years old.
THANKS MOM! (AND WIFE, AND SISTER, AND AUNT …): Women start shopping earlier than men across the board. Women have already started their holiday shopping at a 45% higher rate than men. And when it comes to the last two weeks of the holiday shopping season, men are more than twice as likely to just be starting the process than women.
NO SINGLE RETAILER OWNS THE EARLY SHOPPERS: Early shoppers don’t seem to favor any one of America’s three most popular retailers. But note this: People with an unfavorable view of Target are about twice as likely to have already started their shopping than people with an unfavorable view of Walmart.
PRIME TIME for Shopping: However — and this is huge — those who have already started their holiday shopping over-index as having shopped this Prime Day and knew exactly what they wanted. It’s clear Amazon has these early-bird shoppers in mind.
CHECK, PLEASE: Americans who dine once a month or more at upscale restaurants are just about as likely as people who rarely or never dine out at upscale restaurants to have already started their holiday shopping. But check out those back end numbers: Monthly upscale restaurant-goers are much more likely to put off shopping until December than people who rarely or never go out to these restaurants.
While the “Christmas in July” concept has been around advertising circles for nearly 70 years, it isn’t going away anytime soon. And besides, last year’s sweaters can probably be had for a song around this time of year.