Christmas creep: Internet outraged as Countdown starts selling Santa and reindeer chocolates in September

The ‘Christmas creep’ is not a new phenomenon. The term refers to a merchandising technique in which retailers introduce Christmas-themed merchandise before the traditional start of the holiday season, which in the US is the day after Thanksgiving – the fourth Thursday in November. It’s believed the term was first coined in the 1980s.

With the dreaded Christmas creep already landing everyone on the naughty list, Newshub decided to get to the bottom of why Countdown is ringing in the silly season so far in advance.

A spokesperson for the supermarket confirmed to Newshub that the delivery of Christmas products is staggered into Countdown’s stores to help manage the space.

“We also know from experience and customer feedback that people do actually start getting into gear about now with their Christmas planning, even though it might seem early to some,” the spokesperson added.

“We know some like to purchase products early and have them stashed away to help spread out their Christmas budgets, and others like to taste test products and recipes to ensure they hit the spot on the big day.”

The spokesperson explained there is an early focus on stocking the shelves with the likes of advent calendars and Christmas cake ingredients, in preparation for the festivities. In the weeks before Christmas, that focus shifts to fresh products such as berries, hams and food for the barbie.

“We know lots of people also prefer to do their shopping later on, and there’ll be plenty of products available over the coming months for those customers too,” they said.