Nordstrom Opposes Christmas Creep

Nordstrom has conquered the urge to celebrate Christmas before Thanksgiving. The retailer announced its decision to respect the calendar and common sense by hanging signs declaring that they will wait until the day after Thanksgiving, the earliest acceptable moment, to display their Christmas decorations. The vainglorious announcement is an important indicator that Nordstrom’s competitors have overdone the unseasonable cheerfulness schtick.

[Image thanks to Celeste!]


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  1. yahonza says:

    This is such a weird cause celebre for the Consumerist to be involved in.

    I am sick of Christmas Creep Creep!

    Its ten times more annoying than the supposed “Christmas Creep” we are all so farging oppressed by.

  2. Rando says:

    Nordstrom sucks.

  3. Britt says:

    Thank goodness! Here in Canada I was annoyed as anything that Christmas was going up before Remembrance Day. Hooray for America.

  4. workingonyourinvoice says:

    YES!! Everybody needs to do this. I went to the grocery store last weekend and it was sunny and 85 degrees out, and they had friggin christmas music playing. WHY???!!!

  5. DallasDMD says:

    @randotheking: You sucks.

  6. headon says:

    This is Nordstroms way of saying that they did not order their Christmas merchandise from the suppliers early enough.

  7. MotherFury says:

    Um, correct me if I’m wrong…
    But by the action of hanging a sign that says they aren’t participating in the early commencement of the commercialization of Christmas, Nordstrom actually is participating… ?

    • bagumpity says:

      @MotherFury: You’re using logical paradoxes to figure out which Consumerist commenters are robots, aren’t you?

      If they’re participating, but they say that they refuse to participate, but that means they ARE participating, which means they’re lying, but if they’re lying they aren’t participating and therefore cannot be lying, in which case they ARE partip


  8. Bourque77 says:

    @MotherFury: As long as they arent playing christmas music with santa signs every 5 feet im ok with it. Its this time of year when i begin to hate christmas music. F’n department stores.

  9. darious says:

    For whatever reason Nordstrom is doing this, it works.
    I am already considering them for a couple of my x-mas purchases….not to be made before the 23rd of course.

  10. esqdork says:

    Nordstrom has never put up Christmas decorations before Thanksgiving. They also have one of the most liberal return policies in retail. They go above and beyond the call of duty for their customers. More stores should model themselves after the Company.

  11. comedian says:

    Does this mean that employees of Nordstrom will have to work on Thanksgiving to set up the store for the big Friday opening?

  12. Maulleigh says:

    It’s one thing to “do a nice thing.” It’s another thing to trumpet it.

    Poorly done, Nordstroms. Poorly done.

  13. trollkiller says:

    “We hate Christmas creep”, “Christmas decorations before Thanksgiving, bah”, “hey look a retailer that is waiting to put up decorations …. the bastards”.

    You people would bitch you were hung with a new rope.

    I am going to make an effort to purchase at least one item from them. Maybe, just maybe other retailers will see that you don’t have to start Christmas before Halloween.

  14. loueloui says:


    Seconded. Also,

    Good for Nordstrom’s !

    I think it is a wonderful idea. I have never been to any of their stores because there just aren’t any in my area. However I’m going to make a special trip just to show my appreciation.

    Eventually the marketing idiots are never going to take the Christmas stuff down. I resent having Christmas shoved down my throat at any cost. What will they do next year? Just have all of the staff lying prostrate on the ground? Enough is enough.

    I am always disappointed how the unwashed masses just buy indiscriminately. By purchasing an item from a store which does not respect its customers you are furthering the problem of bad retailing. Everyone complains about how lousy Wal-mart treats its employees, loots good American jobs, and destroys local economies, and then they load up the SUV, with made in China garbage.

    Think before you buy.

  15. says:

    i like the hand turkey thing at the bottom

  16. azntg says:

    Good for Nordstroms! They’re a little too expensive for my tastes though (No seriously, my college income won’t take me anywhere far anytime now).

    Seriously, as much as retailers try to promote Christmas way ahead of time, as to override other holidays, people seriously don’t have money to spend. The economy really sucks right now (relatively speaking, as in prices for everything has gone up to hell and our incomes haven’t matched them for quite a while) and after the loan meltdown, that puts even normally capable people in the hole too. Better keep everything in red and pray for a better economy in due time.

  17. VoxPopuli says:

    Yay Nordstroms! I know their promoting the fact that they’re not promoting Christmas early is just smooth marketing, but since I agree with it, I don’t mind at all.

  18. zolielo says:

    Nordstrom is a great place to shop – on par with Costco. Not all stores are bad Carey. ;)

  19. parad0x360 says:

    Target has had Christmas stuff up since Sept 1st(card, lights, wreaths), and the big selection of Christmas stuff (trees, ornaments, decorations) went up a week before Halloween. Sad really.

  20. Dustbunny says:

    I heart Nordstrom. I went w/a friend to one of their stores recently — he wanted to see if he could get a shoe repaired, that he bought there a couple years ago…the sole split in half. Anyhoo, Nordstrom gave him a brand new pair of shoes, no questions asked, no receipt necessary. I was impressed — it was a $250 pair of shoes…

  21. Major-General says:

    @loueloui: Funny, I liked working for Wal-Mart. Of course, Oklahoma doesn’t have a Nordstroms. Or a Costco for that matter.

  22. DanPVD says:

    No, they didn’t order “early enough.” I’ve seen this sign at Nordstrom the past couple of years.

  23. saltmine says:

    @Major-General: So, why don’t you work for Wal-Mart anymore?

  24. saltmine says:

    @zarathustra333: Those are average prices at best.

  25. Nicholai says:


    Do I see spam? KILL IT! YARGGHHHH!

  26. JeffM says:

    I’m sure all the hyper-aware shoppers on here put a lot of thought into this type of marketing. (That’s why we read blogs like this, right?)

    But for the average person, they may see that sign and think… WTF? Why did I see Christmas decorations at Macy’s before Halloween? Some shoppers may be wondering if Nordstrom is anti-Christmas since they don’t have decorations up. This sign clear states their position and their reasoning- which most anyone could agree with.

    In my opinion Nordstrom is raising awareness of Christmas creep- commendable indeed!

  27. edwardso says:

    I wish this was more common. One of the DC radio stations is alreay all Christmas, all the time. It’s just too much

  28. witeowl says:

    Yay for Nordstrom! I honestly haven’t shopped there for two decades. This might get me back into their stores. (That is, if we had a Nordstrom in our city.)

  29. quail says:

    Did anyone else notice that several stores had mini-black Friday’s at the beginning of November? Creep is awful. Stores are stocking Christmas in the USA before Halloween even. Bleh.

  30. remusrm says:

    I will shop there just for this… I hate this stores before Christmas.

  31. yahonza says:

    One more time:


    The Christmas holiday retail marketing pattern has been exactly the same forever, IT IS NOT GETTING EARLIER EVERY YEAR.

  32. hektik says:

    This is brilliant for Nordstroms.

    Wegmans, yes the “venerable” Wegmans, had all of their Xmas stuff up at the front of their stores the first week of October. They had a sign out for a few days (I only saw it once) that said something like they “respect the rights of people to shop early for the holidays” and “apologize for any inconvenience.”

    Really?! Who shops for a fake christmas tree and lights on Oct 2nd? WHO?!

  33. mantari says:

    Happy Hallothanksgivemas!

  34. witeowl says:

    @yahonza: My, you must be a young’n. (Or very unobservant). Sorry, but it’s getting earlier. In my youth, Christmas Crap came out around Thanksgiving, and we complained that that was too early. Now, it comes out around Halloween. My calendar tells me that Halloween comes before Thanksgiving.

  35. GF_AdventureGrl says:

    I was at a new Macy’s in Illinois, and saw Christmas wreaths up in July. No jokes. Good for Nordstrom’s, for refusing to be muscled into Christmas.

  36. msgotrox says:

    Just saw this sign at my local Nordie’s this week – but only as I was walking out. It is just a sign in a couple of windows and is very low-key. They are not at all making a big deal about this. While I was in the store, I *did* notice how nice it was to casually shop around a week before Thanksgiving without being forcibly cheered against my will by obnoxious Christmas music and hideous decorations.

  37. sixninezero says:

    There is Christmas Creep, if you don’t think so you are either asleep or under 25. I heard my dad talking about how new cars used to come out in September, now it is a year round event. I remember when television shows had a definitive season. Now the calendar is just bastardized to increase sales. It is sad our attention spans have gotten so short we can’t remember what happened last week.

    Good going Nordstorm.

  38. JKinNYC says:

    @yahonza: Um, yeah there is. Not that long ago (like 3 years) nothing christmas happened until Thanksgiving. Now it starts on veterans day, or earlier.

    My wife, a european, used to remark that Thanksgiving was great, because Christmas couldn’t start until after it. She is used to it starting arouund the end of october. This year, she noted “Christmas is like at home this year”

  39. ElizabethD says:

    Yay. I saw that sign as I entered Nordstrom in Providence RI yesterday. Nice contrast to everywhere else in the mall!

  40. RandomHookup says:


    The thing that strikes me as odd was being in Australia for Xmas several years ago and they were playing “White Christmas”!! Who is Oz is looking forward to a white Xmas?

  41. Charmander says:

    @yahonza: Well, as someone who has worked in retail for much of the past 20 years, I can tell you Christmas Creep most definitely exists. At the store I work at now, we had Christmas stuff out BEFORE the our entire Halloween merchandise was even out on display.

    And this happens every year in your memory? Come one, yahonza, how old are you? I’m betting you are under 21.

  42. JAYEONE says:

    This is great. I like Nordstroms even better now.

  43. drjayphd says:

    @darkblast93: Ones who does not flag comment spam can’t get in.

  44. Klitaka says:

    The only reason “Christmas Creep” exists is because the stuff actually sells when it gets put out. Retailers want to maximise their profits, and so holiday-related wares are set out far ahead of time.

    It might piss-off many consumers, but unless people stop buying Christmas things when they’re set out early, Christmas Creep will be here for the foreseeable future.

    It’s all about marketing and economics.

  45. bohemian says:

    We had xmas forced upon us early because retailers are scared that sales this year will be down due to people not having much for disposable income.

  46. ExtraCelestial says:

    sorry for the crookedness, i had to zoom in and zoom out and happened upon this sign giggled and took a quick click. didnt have time for a redo.

    i work at a rival department store, but these are the reasons why i love nordstrom:

    1. bloomingdales stock minus the bitchy pretension

    2. anniversary sale… booyah!

    3. personal hand written thank-you notes mailed to your door whenever you buy something :o)

    4. insanely generous return policy

  47. Moneypenny says:

    @the comedian:
    I believe they do have to work on Thanksgiving.

    I worked for a rival department store years ago, and oddly enough, was in charge of the christmas department. One day a woman came in, bearing that same advertisement, telling me *I* could learn a lesson or two from Nordstrom’s….I went to my store manager who had worked for Nordstrom’s in the past. Apparently, while all of us who had already decked the halls would be eating turkey, they were decorating….

    Now, bear in mind, this was about 12 years ago. Things may have changed…but if they’re still using the same ads, I doubt it.

  48. ibjoeralt says:

    FYI: Nordstrom, founded in 1901, has been keeping this policy for over 100 years. Go Nordstrom.

  49. ExtraCelestial says:


    i eat lunch almost daily with nordies and can tell u they dont work on thanksgiving nor are they up all night wednesday putting up decorations. however the store opens 7 or 8am the day after. yikes!

  50. itmustbeken says:

    Yet another reason to shop at Nordstrom.

  51. Sudonum says:

    Yeah, my sister-in-law worked for Nordstrom for 10 years, and I can most assuredly tell you she never worked Thanksgiving. She was up around 5 am on Black Friday and into work by 6:30 – 7.

  52. gamabunta says:

    I work at Long’s and we had the Halloween candy out along with the Thanksgiving and Christmas decorations all in one aisle.

    It’s not even Thanksgiving and all the related merch has been 50% off for at least 2 weeks.

  53. LionelEHutz says:

    There goes Nordstroms, going to war against Christmas!

    Just wait until Bill O’Reilly hears about this. I’ll bet he issues a Bill O-Boycott against those smarmy libruls!

  54. VerucaSalt says:

    To be truthful, I will be working until midnight Wednesday to get ready for black friday, but don’t have to come until late afternoon that day because of it. They take good care of their people. :)

  55. yahonza says:


    No, I am in my forties, and I am and have been very observant. People have been saying “Christmas gets earlier every year” at least since the seventies when I first heard it. My personal observation over the years during the seventies and eighties is that Christmas retailing starts tricking in in October, floods in after Halloween (or a few days before Halloween, then peaks and plateaus after thanksgiving.

    That’s every year for the past twenty five years at least.

    I challenge anyone to come up with historical retail industry data that shows Christmas creep.

  56. synergy says:

    I think the standard response to “you hate Christmas” if you don’t like Christmas Creep should be “you hate giving thanks for another year of life!” Seriously, people need to stop trampling over Thanksgiving.

  57. trollkiller says:

    Would a Wal~Mart spokesman do?

    “Although our busiest Christmas sales weeks will occur in November and December, we have been placing a selective sampling of our Christmas items into stores early in the season for several years,” confirms Wal-Mart spokeswoman Tara Raddohl.

    I think the problem here is you see the first item of Christmas as being proof that creep does not exist and the rest of us see the flood of items as proof it does.

    The flood has been coming earlier every year. Maybe it is global warming that is causing this.

  58. yahonza says:

    I am telling you, b@trollkiller:

    I used to really believe in Christmas Creep. But after hearing it being complained about for decades, I came to realize that if it were actually true, Christmas would be starting in January by now.

    I suspect it actually runs in cyclical trends, but the pattern will always be the same.

    Your quote only proves my point: before November there is a “selective sampling” or a trickle of Christmas items. The flood happens after Halloween. Nothing new there.

    Also, Thanksgiving is not in the way of christmas retialing because 1) it is not a decoration holiday to the extent of Halloween and Xmas, and 2) Thanksgiving is a the first holiday in the Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s eve trifecta, all part of The Holiday Season.

  59. witeowl says:

    @yahonza: You remember Christmas starting much earlier than I do. I have too many papers to grade tonight to do much research on the topic, but here’s a little:

    This newspaper article cites the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and America’s Research Group, a consumer behavior marketing firm: []

    This site has comments from a marketing professor at Wichita State University: []

    Hard data? No, I don’t have it. I’d hazard that those professors are basing their statements on something concrete, though.

  60. Ola says:

    Good for Nordstrom! I heard Christmas music today. Now, it’s just about the right time right now, but do they HAVE to play it before Thanksgiving?

  61. Mr. Gunn says:

    Awesome. I’m buying everything from Nordstrom’s his year.

  62. korith says:

    It is weird the day after halloween they were already putting up the christmas stuff up at walmart. I believe kmart as well. I don’t know about anyone else but thats too dang early. But if you figure how badly some companies are doing this year, it makes sense they are trying to extend the shopping season. Hopefully that means better bargains, but probably not.

  63. Jim C. says:

    @Maulleigh: If they didn’t put up a sign, everyone would be pestering them about it, so lighten up. They’re a business, for Pete’s sake, not some self-effacing do-gooders.

  64. Yes, it was a tad self-promotional patting themselves on the back for doing it; but I give major props to Nordstrom for not giving in to what other retailers are doing and starting to cram down the throats of shoppers earlier and earlier the whole Christmas retail mantra. I wish I lived near a Nordstrom store so I could patronize them as a reward.

    It seems one major retailer (coughWal-Martcough) was starting to show out the Christmas stuff as soon as their back-to-school season was over and went into “high gear” as they were taking down their Halloween seasonal displays.

    I’m sick and tired of this “holiday creep” getting earlier and earlier every single year. I fully expect the marketing and media blitz to make it to Labor Day in the not too distant future…

  65. aikoto says:

    Awesome. I wish they’d all do this. Our malls are all decked out and playing Christmas music. Santa is already here. Give it a freaking rest! Let me have my turkey people!

  66. HOP says:

    good for nordstrom……..there are no nordstroms in our area, but it would be refreshing to go into a store w/o all that christmas stuff in september…..b y the time christmas is actually here, i’m sick to death of it…

  67. ogman says:

    Excellent. Good for them! I’m now really happy that I bought some of my Christmas gifts from them.

  68. ogman says:

    @yahonza: Here’s hoping that you receive a new keyboard, with a unstuck allcaps key, and renewed powers of observation for Christmas this year.

  69. ogman says:

    @MotherFury: So, how would Nordstrom get out the message that they think it’s wrong to start the Christmas Creep so early if they did not announce their opposition and their intent to act differently? Surely you don’t think that all the geniuses roaming the malls would observe this behavior by Nordstrom and make the connection? Yeah, me neither.

  70. sixninezero says:

    It does exist or we wouldn’t talk about it or have a name for it. Anyone that starts decorating/ advertising for Christmas before the day after Thanksgiving is guilty of C.C. It doesn’t have to get earlier every year, getting the season started before it is supposed to is C.C.

    We could debate about the actuality of Christmas Creep until next Christmas, but the point is the Christmas stuff shouldn’t go up until the day after Thanksgiving. The proof is in the complaints, if consumers are upset enough that Nordstrom has to post a sign and we are having this discussion, it means something is wrong. What I want to see the the bottom line number for sales for stores that start Christmas in October and stores that wait until the day after Thanksgiving. I would venture to say the Nordstrom makes their sales goal regardless of their lack of participation in Christmas Creep.

  71. Trackback says:

    King Penny via ShhPeKo/Racked Flickr Pool Local · On Sherry-Lehmann’s new location [NY Times] National · Nordstrom refuses to give into Christmas creep [Consumerist] · High-end websites exploring PayPal as payment option [NY Times] · Fashion editor wants to reinvent Members…

  72. Sidecutter says:

    a href=”#c3017565″>zarathustra333: This poster has two posts, both touting Circuit City sales. Shillbot. Kill it please!

  73. savvy999 says:

    I will cue up Joy to World (X-mas version, not Three Dog Night) on my ipod right now, to celebrate this.

    Good job, Nordstroms.

  74. xboxishuge says:

    This is awesome, and is yet another reason to wish I could afford to shop at Nordstrom’s.

    Someday, Nordstrom. Someday.

  75. emilymarion333 says:

    Even though I do not shop at Nordstrom that often I am glad to hear that! I am so sick of Christmas stuff coming up right after Halloween!

  76. Beerad says:

    @sixninezero: 1) If people only talked about things that exist, you’d never have heard about unicorns, dragons, or Bigfoot. 2) The proof is in the business sales, not the complaints. If there was really something “wrong” business wouldn’t do it. You’d like to see the bottom line sales figures? Trust me, Wal-mart, Sears, and every retailer (including Nordstrom) already has, and they’re making decisions based on what’s best for business.

    I’m irritated by C.C. as much as everyone else, but it seems like people have been complaining about it as long as I can remember. I’m not saying it doesn’t happen, and I’m not about to argue with a flood of highly unscientific anecdotal evidence provided by commentors. Overall I like Nordstrom’s ad, although obviously it’s a conscious marketing decision on their part.

  77. vladthepaler says:

    I still don’t see myself doing any shopping there, but yay Nordstrom.

  78. Buran says:

    Now if Starbucks hadn’t bragged about doing the same one year and broken the promise the next …

  79. Dear Nordstroms,
    I enjoy your policy. Beginning Nov 23 and not a single day before, I will purchase all of my holiday needs from you. You are my hero.
    Hugs & kisses,

  80. rjhiggins says:

    They’re not patting themselves on the back. I guarantee they’ve had complaints saying, “Where are the Christmas decorations? Why do you hate Jesus?”

    A small, tasteful sign on the door is hardly self-promotion.

    There aren’t many good guys left among large retailers. Nordstrom is one of them.

  81. rjhiggins says:

    @The Comedian: No, the employees don’t work on Thansgiving. They work late the night before, and early on Black Friday.

    (FYI: I don’t work there, but know people who do.)

  82. UpsetPanda says:

    I love that the store is closed on Thanksgiving…I mean, it used to be that everything was closed or closed very early. I know stores at my mall still do, but i know several others who don’t.

  83. UpsetPanda says:

    * Don’t close I mean. Most malls will close early but not all malls or department stores will just close altogether for the holiday.

  84. Angiol says:

    The reason for ‘christmas creep’, from what I’ve heard, is that it increases that store’s portion of Christmas-related items. The actual sales don’t increase (i.e., there are still $50 million or whatever Christmas-related items bought), but that store’s fraction goes up. Of course, if they push it back too far, they start to lose money because they have to remove other potential moneymakers to make room for wreaths, trees, etc.

  85. chrispiss says:

    Nordstrom kicks ass. That’s cool to see a major retailer doing one holiday at a time.

  86. comedian says:

    @rjhiggins: Excellent, and thanks for the reply.

    I’m happy to see that there isn’t a cloud around this silver lining.