Christmas in August? Home Depot just dropped its holiday catalog—and some items are already sold out

 

By Chris Morris

Ho ho hold on . . . it’s mid-August, and we’re already in the midst of the Christmas shopping season?

Apparently so. Exhibit A: The Home Depot, which launched its holiday catalog Thursday morning—had already sold out of some of the big decorations by early afternoon.

While Halloween is still 82 days away—making Christmas a distant 137 days down the road—Americans are apparently thinking ahead. They’re also thinking big.

Already out of stock is the 8.4-foot posable Santa, complete with an LED lantern. And if you were hoping for a 9-foot ornament-shaped arch for your walkway (with 300 glimmering LED bulbs), you’re out of luck.

The quick out-of-stock notices follow the company’s release of its Halloween collection last month, which included a 13-foot-tall animated Jack Skellington from Disney’s The Nightmare Before Christmas.

Holiday seasonal creep seems to start earlier every year, but 2023 just might take the cake. Halloween candy sales began in July (all but guaranteeing you’ll gobble down a bag or two before the first trick-or-treater hits the street). You can grab a pumpkin spice coffee at Dunkin’ starting next Wednesday, Krispy Kreme is already selling its pumpkin-spiced doughnuts, and pumpkin beers are all over the shelves of your local Total Wine. As for Starbucks cult-favorite pumpkin spice latte? It should be available in a couple of weeks.

It seems that just when savvy consumers were starting to get over the Christmas-in-July sales events (and the appearance of holiday movies on Hallmark Channel), Christmas in August has become the new thing.

 

Even Amazon seems to be getting in on the action, announcing last week that it would hold Prime Big Deals Days in October, essentially a Black Friday before Black Friday.

The quick sell-outs of The Home Depot decorations indicate there’s also a very eager consumer base out there ready to get its jolly on. And since 2020, seasonal spending has been higher, as people splurged on decorations and lawn displays. But it’s hard not to point a finger for all this at retailers, who are obviously eager to stretch out their most profitable period of the year.

Retailers are also taking advantage of residual pandemic worries with these stretched-out holiday seasons. The days of supply chain issues and shortages are still near the front of consumer minds, so by launching holiday promotions and sales earlier, they can hook shoppers who have seasonal FOMO.

Further, the quick sell-out of highly promoted items creates an impression of scarcity. And whether it’s real or artificial, it’s buzzy—and gets consumers talking. Even better (for the stores, at least), it could driveconsumers to pick up other items they might normally not purchase or hold off buying.

Are the giant Santa and ornament arch truly sold out? Likely not. When The Home Depot sets up its in-store holiday displays (which is scheduled to take place somewhere around mid-October), it’s a pretty safe bet you’ll be able to grab those and any other hot items in store. But how long they last will be a good indicator of whether the company has goosed consumer demand or overplayed its hand, turning Santa’s helpers into Grinch fans. 

Fast Company

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