“Some holiday merchandise that normally wouldn’t arrive until Halloween is already here.”

National Retail Federation’s Jonathan Gold who focuses on supply chains as multiple retail leaders (Amazon, Walmart, Target) start holiday sales early.

  • Retailers are not waiting for Thanksgiving ~ early seasonal sales are a result *in part* of the COVID-19 pandemic (either moving sales up or rescheduling sales set for earlier this year).
  • Politics is also a factor as retailers want to capitalize before more uncertainty of higher COVID cases, AND U.S. election results.
  • Retailers want to reduce store crowding (many will stay closed on Thanksgiving day to avoid crowds) but also benefit from the incoming merchandise while it flows – here’s an interesting fact from Gold’s trade group as printed in The Wall Street Journal: “U.S. ports processed about 2.1 million cargo-container equivalents in August, up 8% from a year earlier, according to the National Retail Federation, a membership organization that promotes the industry. That is the highest number of containers imported monthly since the NRF began tracking imports in 2002, the group said. “
  • Why It Matters: Consumer spending fuels most of America’s economy – the largest economy in the world. In general, forecasts for holiday shopping remains lower than previous years due to the extraordinary circumstances of 2020. Retailers are adjusting accordingly, but it has forced some sales usually intended for November, into October.