Discount department store Kmart has set social media alight after one shopper noticed Christmas trees and other festive decorations lining the shelves at a store in Sydney.
Weeks after Coles and Woolworths started selling Christmas food, one shopper shared a photo of the yuletide décor on display in the Burwood Kmart store.
"How soon is too soon to start selling Christmas decorations?" the customer asked on Reddit, noting that the photo was taken on September 8.
Early or on time?
As with the Coles and Woolies' displays, reactions to Kmart selling Christmas products in September were mixed, with many shoppers unhappy about the timing while others said it's nothing to be shocked by.
"Seriously? It's not Christmas season yet, 'tis Spooky Season!" a Redditor commented.
"This is no sooner than it's been for the last 10 years plus," someone else pointed out, while another replied, "It's bang on time. How early is too early to be whining about Xmas?"
"When my kids were little, it was hard work, really hard work. They thought Christmas was here soon. They didn't understand that it was still over 3 months away. And it frustrated me then. But that was my problem, not theirs," one parent related.
"But now? I really don't give a rats," she continued. "I'm the one who's buying the hot cross buns the day after Boxing Day. And I'm sure if I will see any fruit cake anytime soon, it'll be in my trolley."
Christmas preparation begins
A number of people said they weren't bothered about the early Christmas sales because they give those facing financial difficulties enough time to purchase items incrementally or on lay-by.
"It's great for those who are on a pension or limited income to be able to start shopping for long-life shelf groceries now and buy an item or two each payday, just so they can have the feast they would like rather than not being able to afford everything in November and December," one of the Redditors opined.
Another user pointed out that stores playing Christmas carols before December 1 is worse than early decorations.
"I reckon it would drive a lot of employees spare to hear Last Christmas several times a day for at least six weeks," someone commented.
"Seasonal depression starting early," another replied.
Supply and demand
Some Reddit users, however, wondered how strong the demand really is for Christmas decorations in September, with some pointing out that these items are usually kept for years.
"How often do you need to change trees/decorations? Like there will always be people moving out of home, but how much do they really sell?" someone asked.
"You'd be surprised how disposing society is," another person answered. "Meanwhile I've inherited the family boxes of decorations and the 7ft tall Christmas tree that we've been keeping in the roof for the last 20-30 years."
A former Kmart employee chimed into the discussion, mentioning that Halloween and Christmas stock come in at the same time every year.
"Store has no control over it, so they have to put it out or it takes up valuable space out back. Christmas music starts in store mid October," the staffer said.
Retail giants including Bunnings, Target, David Jones and Myer have also released Christmas decorations already.
Yahoo News Australia has reached out to Kmart for comment.
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