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Friday, November 15, 2013

Is Christmas Creep Good or Bad for the Repair Business?

Here we are in the middle of November. Halloween is over and Thanksgiving is almost 2 weeks away. When I turn on the radio, or browse the internet I am seeing more and more ads for "holiday" sales. Every year it seems that the adverstising starts a little earlier. Journalists have dubbed this phenomenon "Christmas Creep".

To be clear, I love the holiday season and always enjoy making merry with friends and family in December. The decorations and music always make me happy-I am no Grinch! However, when I was younger, the annual holiday advertising onslaught began on Thanksgiving or the day after, and it just wasn't done to advertise for Christmas and the other holidays before them. Obviously, times have changed.

The weeks leading up to Thanksgiving are traditionally some of the busiest times of the year in an appliance service company. Lately I have been pondering if this Christmas Creep is impacting the work flow of the appliance repair industry. It seems likely that moving the holidays to the front of consumers minds should increase foot traffic into the stores of those repair companies that are associated with an appliance dealership. That can't be a bad thing.

What does not seem so obvious to me is how the phenomenon might change the service world. As we see more holiday advertising, it seems that less promotion is being dedicated to Thanksgiving. Will that decline in Thanksgiving promotion cause a decline in the number of service calls in the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving? I don't know. I have observed that with less reminders the last minute rush seems to be gaining momentum during the last few years. Is that the result of Christmas Creep? Or is technology and the increased speed of modern life the cause? Or could there be some other cause?

Regardless of the causes, there does seem to be more of a last minute aspect to the Thanksgiving than ever before. This leaves servicers with the challenge of anticipating those last minute needs, and making sure that they are ready to provide their customers with those late requests. If you are servicer reading this, now is the time to make sure you are ready with appropriate stock on hand. If you are a consumer reading this, do yourself and your servicer a favor. Call your repair company earlier rather than later. This will be one less thing to deal with just before your big feast.

Have you seen any changes that seem to be caused by Christmas Creep? Do you think that holiday adverstising should wait until after Thanksgiving? Or maybe, do you appreciate the reminders so you can start your gift shopping earlier? Leave us a comment and let us know what you think.

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