Windsor

Costco 'trying to plant that seed early' with Christmas tree in August, prof says

The sight of a Christmas tree in a Costco store in August may seem strange, but a local marketing professor says its earlier-than-expected appearance before consumers is likely rooted in the economics of the retail sector.

The sight of a Christmas tree in a Costco store in August may seem strange, but a local marketing professor says its earlier-than-expected appearance before consumers is likely rooted in the economics of the retail sector.

Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens recently highlighted the fact that an artificial Christmas tree was for sale at a Windsor Costco more than four months ahead of the late-December holiday.

On Facebook, Dilkens said "it seems a little early to me," though he jokingly noted that Christmas is "just around the corner."

Vincent Georgie, an assistant professor at the University of Windsor, said big retailers are always working far ahead in terms of planning what they will sell.

"They're just trying to plant that seed early and if they've got the merchandise there, they might as well put it out," Georgie told CBC Radio's Windsor Morning on Tuesday.

"I don't know if they expect massive sales at this point."

Costco, he said, often works even further ahead than some other retailers.

"If you go into regular retail right now, at, you know, at a Walmart or at the Bay, for example, you're not going to see the Christmas stuff out yet. It's still really the back-to-school stuff," he said.

"But as far as Costco goes, they've always been very, very early birds."

Georgie said the tree's placement in the seasonal aisles of the Windsor Costco is an early part of the journey that Christmas merchandise will take toward the front of the store as the holiday gets closer.

"That will progressively move closer and closer to the front and take up more space," he said. "It has made its debut at the back and you will notice now over the coming weeks and months, it'll actually take up more real estate and that real estate will be closer as you enter."

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