New Brunswick

Costco selling Christmas trees in July has people asking 'Why'?

People are taking to social media to share how they feel about Costco selling Christmas trees and decorations in July.

'Retailers have to be very careful that they don’t alienate customers,' says marketing professor

Christmas trees and decorations seen at the Costco on Trinity Drive in Moncton.

A big evergreen tree with shiny lights is probably the last thing you'd expect to see in a store at this time of year, which is why some shoppers were surprised to see Costco has started selling Christmas trees and decorations this week in the barbeque aisle.

It's not the first time Costco has pulled out the tinsel and decorations in the summer, but it seems this year the shopping warehouse is trying to ring in the holidays extra early. And that's left people on social media a little dumbfounded.

At the Costco store in Moncton, many wondered just how early is too early.

"It's too, too early. I'm still buying summer clothes," said Holly Fagan.

"I'm still thinking about planning vacation," said Monique Daigle, although a few people did admit they don't mind getting a head start on their Christmas shopping, and some were even spotted putting Christmas ornaments into their shopping carts.

"I think it's great," said Dora Leaman. "It makes Christmas shopping easier. If I see something, [I] put it away ... and you got it for Christmas."

Don Shiner, a marketing professor at Mount Saint Vincent University, says retailers are always looking for opportunities to make their stores more interesting, so there's a natural tendency to stretch Christmas as long as possible, but warns that moving it up too early might alienate customers.

"Costco does move before other retailers," said Shiner. "I think that any retailer who moves up the Christmas goods display time is leaving themselves open to criticism."

CBC News contacted Costco and is awaiting a response.

"My only question is, why?" said Steven Fitch.