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Rethinking the customer relationship
We used to measure life with the turning of the seasons; times in which nights drew darker and colder or golden dawns with dew sprinkling the first flush of green in the trees were the markers which governed our waking, eating and working lives. Now we have new markers, ones which foretell the march of the seasons and which try to govern some of our habits as surely as nature once did.
Those markers come from the retail sector, encouraging us to look forward, to shop now, to prepare early for the next big event. Scarcely have we drawn breath after bonfire night when the first flush of Christmas adverts marches on to our screen, enticing us to buy with tear-jerking vignettes or happy laughter. But the time of ‘holiday-creep’ may be coming to an end as people start trying to recapture the special nature of holidays.
This time last year the press was sprinkled with comments about decorations going up too early and now a Canadian poll has revealed that 46% of respondents feel that Christmas music shouldn’t be played in shops until December. Commenting on this in 2013 a US Psychology professor told CBS that “Saturating public space with earlier and earlier holiday fare is upsetting, because it violates and devalues the psychological role holidays play in our lives.”
We have recently reported on a change in food shopping habits with customers moving towards a ‘little and often’ methodology. This is already forcing some retailers to rethink the customer relationship and should the murmurs of disquiet at early celebrations of holidays seen last year grow ever louder it could be time for a more widespread rethink of the interaction between retail businesses and the consumer.