4-3 TARGET RESISTS THE CHRISTMAS CREEP Christmas Creep is the retail phenomenon in which retail stores set up Christmas displays earlier and ear-…

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Case 4-3, Target Resists the Christmas Creep, Pages 658 – 659

Read the Case Study entitled, Target Resists the Christmas Creep on pages 658 – 659.  Then, answer only Discussion Questions 1-3 at the end of the case (page 659). Your assignment should be at least two pages in length (2-spaced).Please be sure to answer the questions completely and to back up your answers with facts from the textbook.Remember, it is quality that counts so be brief, thorough, and to the point.

Also please number each of your answers. This is very important so that I understand to which questions you are responding.

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4-3 TARGET RESISTS THE CHRISTMAS CREEP Christmas Creep is the retail phenomenon in whichretail stores set up Christmas displays earlier and ear-lier every year. Many stores are now beginning theirChristmas holiday season around Halloween rather thanthe more traditional, post-Thanksgiving beginning ofthe holiday shopping season. For example, Sears ranBlack Friday (traditionally the day after Thanksgiving)Door Busters before Halloween. Others use out-of-storemethods to engage in Christmas Creep. For example,Pier 1 conducted an e-mail campaign that featured asnowman encouraging consumers to “get an early starton Christmas”—in July of 2010. Retail stores beginning their holiday season as early asthe summer months is becoming more common. HobbyLobby is another company employing Christmas Creep.In 2008, Christmas decor was in Hobby Lobby storesin August. In 2009, it was available in July. By 2010,Hobby Lobby stocked their shelves with Christmasdecor as early as June. According to one shopper: I’ve heard of the Christmas Creep, but this year it’s aChristmas Sprint! Today, June 19, 2010 at the HobbyLobby . . . Christmas merchandise already on SALEat 40% off !!1! It’s not even Father’s Day, and they arealready starting to deck the halls. During 2010, Target made a deliberate effort to waitcloser to the actual traditional holiday season to begin itsholiday promotions. It said that this move is in responseto consumers becoming burned out by overexposure toChristmas displays, advertising, and other promotions.Thus, Target delayed its holiday advertising campaignuntil after Thanksgiving. According to Chief MarketingOfficer Michael Francis: Guests really tire of these messages when they’restarted too early in the season, and it doesn’t align withwhere they are in their lives. They look at Thanksgivingas family time . . . and aren’t yet ready to get into thefrenzy that defines the Christmas shopping season. This decision was not made haphazardly. Targetconducted extensive research to find out how consum-ers really felt about Christmas Creep, through guestsurveys and evaluation of point-of-sale data. Besides,Francis has noted that with a slowing economy, con-sumers are less likely to make purchases earlier in theholiday season. The last several years we’ve seen shoppers shoppingmuch closer to need. The Christmas season, which had been spread over six weeks, is becoming more of asprint Although Target is taking the strategy of delaying itsholiday media blitz, it is still paying attention to the seg-ment of consumers who prefer to shop early. Therefore,some Christmas merchandise is stocked in the store ear-lier and only select customers are targeted with holidaye-mails and direct mail prior to the main holiday mediacampaign launch. There are mixed consumer reactions to ChristmasCreep. Some consumers view Christmas Creep as asource of frustration and experience “emotional push-back.” Other consumers are not bothered by the earlyholiday promotions. In any case, Christmas Creep stim-ulates a lot of discussion on consumer blogs. Expertshave different views on Christmas Creep. Accordingto Chris Morran, senior editor at Consumeristcom, a



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