Coles is decking the aisles with Christmas favourites, and customers are gobsmacked by how early the rollout is happening. The supermarket giant announced a range of festive foods will officially hit shelves from Monday, but the items have already started to appear in some stores.
"It's only August!" responded a bewildered shopper to the move on Facebook, while another said retailers should wait until other big events on the shopping calendar are out of the way before moving on to Christmas. "Wow, we haven't gone through Father's Day or Halloween," she wrote.
Coles justifies early Christmas displays
While some shoppers complained that they're "not mentally prepared" to start thinking about Christmas preparations, Coles is expecting droves of customers to take advantage of the early sales.
Last year, the chain sold 40 per cent of its fruit mince pies and 50 per cent of its Christmas puddings before December, showing that Aussies are keen to plan ahead as the cost-of-living crisis continues.
"We know they love to try these in the months leading up to Christmas and this early range can help people stagger their costs leading up to the big day as well," said Kate Roff, General Manager of Coles Bakery.
This year, Coles will offer 103 bakery Christmas products, including own-brand matured christmas pudding, six-packs of apricot and peach pies, six-packs of apple and rhubarb pies, chocolate pudding, salted caramel pudding, raspberry and vanilla pudding, and chocolate pudding.
The retailer says more than a million Coles brand puddings were snapped up by customers last Christmas, and this year they're expecting to sell 10.8 million mini fruit mince pies, which now come in packs of nine.
Coles isn't the only retailer offering customers the chance to start preparing for the festive season, with Costco and Big W also displaying Christmas decorations, wrapping paper and holiday-themed food.
Marketing and Consumer Behaviour expert Professor Gary Mortimer previously told Yahoo News Australia there are operational reasons behind the early release of such items.
"Warehouses are full of Christmas inspired products and we want them out of warehouses and into air-conditioned supermarkets and department stores," he said.
"When demand for these products starts, it comes on quickly and retailers want to be ready."
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