Target Claims It Won't Start Christmas Early, Then Starts Christmas Early Anyway

Retailer's promise not to launch the holiday season early comes with an asterisk.

Target says it’s taking a stand against Christmas creep, noting that customers want more emphasis on Thanksgiving before it’s time to get jolly with the mistletoe and holly.

“They want us to pause and be really intentional and recognize Thanksgiving,” Rick Gomez, Target’s chief marketing officer, told The Associated Press. “What they don’t want us to do is go right into Christmas. So, we are going to respect that.”

But there’s a huge asterisk on that promise, which earned the company plenty of press coverage for tackling Christmas creep.

Because it’s not.

The promise to recognize Thanksgiving and hold off on Christmas products and decorations only applies to one small area of Target stores.

“The change for this year is only to the signing we place at the front entrances of our stores,” a Target spokeswoman told NBC News.

Indeed, once you get past the entrance, many Target locations are already promoting Christmas, leading to a Burton-esque mix of Halloween and Christmas:

Target is hardly alone. Christmas merchandise is already slipping into stores around the country, especially big retail chains, and a number have begun mailing out Christmas catalogs and other promotions.

Musicians are also promoting their Christmas albums, and this weekend ― before Halloween ― the Hallmark Channel plans to broadcast its first Christmas movies of the season.

Ready or not, it seems Christmas is here.

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