Is Christmas Day shopping coming soon to a mall, strip mall or local store near you?
According to LoyaltyOne, a retail consulting firm, the answer is, horrifyingly enough, “yes.”
“It’s inevitable,” said LoyaltyOne Managing Partner Dennis Armbruster, who predicts that retailers will start opening on Christmas Day within three years, according to CBS. “What Christmas means to some is just changing, and a lot of families don’t necessarily celebrate on Christmas Day because of extended family dynamics. Consumers are also highly used to getting what they want, when they want it.”
As of 2015, there are no major retailers open on Christmas — but there are grocery and convenience stores that now brave the holiday open in hopes of snagging some of those desperate consumer sales. LoyaltyOne also thinks the encroachment of retail into Thanksgiving – once an anathema idea – has now become an expected part of the holiday.
About 20 percent of American consumers say they would shop on Christmas if they could, particularly if doors opened at 6 in the evening. Younger adults were the more avid consumers for Christmas, with 18-24-year-olds representing about a third of those who are ready to shop till they drop on Christmas.
Retailers are discussing the idea, Armbruster said, but so far it has no takers.
“There is discussion about whether it’s appropriate, and ‘is nothing sacred anymore?'” he noted.
“With growing pressure to make sales and make annual numbers, that might be enough” to motivate stores to open on the holiday, he added.
But caving in to the demand of 20 percent might have bigger costs than gains associated with it for some, since some people really are offended at the idea of Christmas commerce.
“Retailers would risk potentially alienating the general population if they opened on Christmas at this point,” he said. “There is a cautionary note to retailers that there are some consumers that are interested, but be careful.”