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Why Seasonal Merchandise Appears Early

Photo of Gingerbread Cookies by Jill Wellington from Pexels.

You’re out grocery shopping in, let’s say, the end of July, and you see Halloween Candy. Maybe it’s September and you’re starting to see Christmas merchandise. It might be the first week of July but every store has back-to-school displays starting to go up. For everyone wondering why seasonal merchandise appears early, there’s an answer, and the answer is:


There are two types of product strategies: Push strategy and Pull strategy. Let’s start with Pull strategy:


Pull strategy is the reason you see product commercials on tv, in print media, and on your screens. Make people want the item, even if the person in the ad is an actor with a fake French accent hawking fresh chicken (apologies for the inappropriate video title – not my upload), and then have those people seek it out. Pull strategy, however, does not make seasonal merchandise appear early. What does make that happen is:


This is where manufacturers of goods send out warehouses full of specially made seasonal merchandise all at once to stores that may or may not have room in their backrooms for 20 skids of potato chips since much of that room may currently be taken up by stock saved for another round of panic buying. Since there can only be so many displays of toilet paper, bottled water, canned vegetables, and hand sanitizers, that seasonal merchandise ends up on the sales floor, should anyone desire this merchandise early. After all, even if it’s October, there’s a chance someone’s gonna want some Christmas goodies just because.

Stores don’t necessarily want to get the product as early as they do. However, suppliers can dictate that either they get the product when they do, or they simply don’t get any product at all. In other word, if you don’t want Halloween candy in July, you won’t get it in October. And you better know exactly how much of it you’re going to need when you order the stuff around Easter time.

So there you have it: Push Strategy from the manufacturers is why you’re seeing stuff really early in stores.

About the Grocery Store Insider

The Grocery Store Insider has worked in grocery retail for close to 20 years, and has worked in multiple areas of the store including produce, fresh meats, deli, produce, dry grocery, frozen foods, dairy, and checkouts. The Grocery Store Insider also has a College diploma in Business Administration-Marketing.