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The Ghost of Fewer Shopping Days

The ghost of Christmas future may scare Ebenezer Scrooge, but retailers and brands fear something else—the Ghost of Fewer Shopping Days. About every six years, the Ghost of Fewer Shopping Days appears, and this is one of those years. With US Thanksgiving falling on November 28th, there will only be 27 days between then and Christmas. This compares unfavorably with 2018 when there were 32 days.

If it seems like you see holiday promotions appearing sooner and more pervasively than last year, you are not mistaken. We will also see more retailers offering Black Friday deals days, even weeks, before November 29th. We had fixtures going into Victoria’s Secret and May Department Stores in September and October, respectively. Old Navy stores will be open 32 hours straight from Thanksgiving afternoon through Black Friday. Gone are the days of lining up in the dark to get “doorbuster” deals.

Retailers and brands alike try to balance being early enough to capture your attention and dollars without wearing out their message too soon. Seeing Christmas trees and ugly holiday sweaters at Family Dollar before Halloween doesn’t put anyone in the holiday spirit. However, both product manufacturers and retailers feel the need to be there because of the shortened traditional buying season between the holidays.

For shoppers, good deals abound already. No need to wait for Black Friday to buy if you’re so inclined. As the days tick down to Christmas and Hanukkah, expect the deals to only improve – though the inventory will dwindle – as retailers look to make every day count as you count down to your holiday celebration.