Christmas and the New Year have passed, their only remnants being reduced price wrapping paper and tree-shaped biscuit boxes. But that’s okay, because Easter is next week. Or so you’d think if you walked in to most supermarkets these days.
Woolworths and Coles are already stocking chocolate eggs, hot cross buns and I’ve even seen a few fluffy bunny toys. In recent memory, the earliest I’ve seen Easter merchandise is usually in February – about two months before Easter. This year, it was Christmas Eve. I’m not even joking. I was on my way out of Canberra and filled up with fuel at the Woolworths service station near EPIC. Lo and behold, there were Easter eggs on the counter. As I took a photo, the store manager even commented that he thought it was ridiculous but that’s the stock he was sent so it went on the shelves.
I’ve heard so many complaints in the last week about the early arrival of holiday-related merchandise, but I’ve also heard a counter argument: ‘Hot cross buns are delicious! I wish you could get them through the whole year!’.
I’m not sure where I stand on this debate. I think it’s a little ridiculous, and obviously driven by commercial value because if something is there people will buy it. I even bought a small pack of eggs the other day (I swear they taste better than block chocolate), but because of the ridiculous price ($4.50 for about 12-15 solid eggs), I probably won’t buy them again before Easter. I’m not a mega fan of hot cross buns either so I won’t purchase them at all.
Is holiday merchandise made available early because there is a genuine demand for it, or rather because people will buy anything if it’s dangled in front of them? Christmas decorations are the same. They’re stocked by September usually. Do people really buy tinsel and leave it lying around their house until December? Who are these people!? Are they the same people that buy Christmas wrapping for 40 cents in January and store it until December rolls around? Or is it all a ploy to remind people that Christmas is coming (in several months time) to drive them into a mindless panic present buying mode, thus spending a heap of money every time they have a bauble or a plastic reindeer shoved in their face?
Throwing back to Easter merchandise, one thing I am interested to know is with Easter eggs being readily available and extremely visible in the stores, do children pick up on this and question their parents on the legitimacy of the Easter Bunny? Some kids believe in the Easter Bunny, Santa, Tooth Fairy etc until they are over 10 years old, surely they’d pick up on eggs being available in stores? Or do people tell their kids these days that the Bunny buys them first?
Are you influenced by the early availability of holiday merchandise? If hot cross buns were available throughout the year would you buy them regularly?