I can't believe I'm actually thinking about Valentines Day so early in the year, but I drove past a florists yesterday and they had their window decorated; advertising the day already. To me this seems to be exceptionally early, but when I really sat and thought about it I realised there are only 6 weeks to go until the day, and I can't knock anyone for trying to be prepared. However if the 26 years I've been doing this job have taught me anything, it's that nobody (male or female ~ we are all equal when it comes to Valentines) will even consider thinking about purchasing anything before the 8th Feb at the earliest; not because they are dis-organised, but because when things are being advertised and gifts are in the shops so early for an occasion, people tend to put off ordering, thinking about or buying until almost the last minute. Seeing the bits and pieces early causes them to become part of the *norm* therefore rendering all advertising null and void. If everyone was to leave it until later in the month (or even the beginning of Febraury) it would suddenly awaken customers senses and they would begin to place their orders.
I realised as I was thinking this all through, that it's not just Valentines this relates to. All *peak* periods are the same. Easter eggs are already in some shops. Why? There are 4 months until Easter, by which time people will be so fed up with seeing them they won't bother to buy anything. Christmas just past is a prime example. Friends of mine that have shops and who put their window displays in early found their takings were way down. I didn't put our window display in until the 8th December. Our takings were way up. Maybe it's just coincidence, or maybe the fact I wasn't ramming Xmas down my potential customers throats, made them pay more attention when I did finally decorate the window; this therefore resulted in better sales for me as everything was so fresh in their minds. It would be interesting to see if I could organise some kind of research into it among florists to see if there was any kind of correlation. Why just stop at my trade too? Surely it must affect all trades? It would be great to get feedback on this; to see what others think and feel. I'm sure I can add a poll to this blog stuff. I might just try and do that to see if I get any response.