Counting down the days until Christmas is a major marketing move for retailers this year. Target retailers to LVMHChristian Dior bet that the spirit of this season can be summed up in a centuries-old religious object: the Advent Calendar.
The calendars traditionally mark all the days of December of Advent, a time of reflection for Christian believers and preparation for the Nativity and expected return of Jesus Christ.
Secular versions of retailers typically have 12, 24, or 25 small numbered compartments, each holding a unique item that will be revealed daily before Christmas.
Jen Cole, 45, of Biddeford, Maine, was looking for a calendar for her teenage daughter at the American Dream Mall in East Rutherford, New Jersey.
She bought the Fish ‘Meowy Christmas’ Hanging Advent Calendar for her cat at Goal for $10 and a Burt’s Bees calendar for her son from Sam’s Club for $19.48.
“He loves Chapstick, so we thought we’d give it a try,” he said.
Last year, she picked up JC Penney’s Marvel 12-Day Advent Calendar with superhero-themed socks.
Dior is selling a $3,500 Advent calendar housed in a wooden box and cotton canvas styled like its Parisian boutique on Avenue Montaigne.
Open a door and pull out the drawer daily. You’ll find one of 12 fragrances, four candles, four soaps, three candle accessories, and a scented ornament.
For small children, walmart sells the Baby Shark Advent Calendar, priced at $44.99. Behind 24 little doors are pieces for 18 small toys, including a small candy cane slide. “Countdown to Fishmas,” reads the box.
And for anglers, there’s a $34.99 Fishing Tackle Advent Calendar featuring realistic, color-changing soft baits at The Fishing Shop.
Inflation is high. The economy is wobbly. Stores have too much inventory. And shoppers are mostly too cautious to splurge.
Retailers see the calendars as a way to introduce products that people might not have otherwise bought or tried, garnering an early season sale from people who want to treat their friends, family and even pets to small luxuries.
cadbury was the first to mass-produce chocolate Advent calendars in 1971. But the format has grown in popularity since minimal offerings in 2013, according to Heather Ibberson, a retail analyst at EDITED, a data analytics firm.
UK-based high-end department store Liberty launched its own Advent calendar in 2014, which Ibberson says has become “the fastest-selling and most successful product in its nearly 150-year history.”
Selfridges & Co has 128 Advent calendars priced from £4.99 to £623 this season, more than double last year’s offers.
The UK-based retailer said in early October that ‘Advent calendar’ was the most searched term on its website and that its beauty calendar sold out from its first release. He claims that he was the first to offer a beauty Advent calendar.
Such calendars are an effective tool for convincing early holiday shoppers “to look elsewhere,” said Mark Cohen, director of retail studies at Columbia Business School.
“Opening the drawers of this Advent calendar is reminiscent of the experience you get on our beauty floors, where we walk you through brands and products,” said Marissa Galante Frank, Bloomingdale’s director of beauty fashion and accessories.
Advent calendars cannot remain on the shelves on the seventh floor of the luxurious Bergdorf Goodman department store in New York.
Inside a red box with gold embroidery are 24 small sliding compartments filled with home fragrance aerosols, candles, car perfumes, and garnishes from Italian fragrance brand Dr. Vranjes Firenze, priced at $629.
Rival Saks Fifth Avenue has 18 calendars on sale this year up from 12 for 2021, priced from $65 to $3,500.
discount supermarket Aldi He said he has 25 vacation calendars. The Aldi Holiday Magic Wine Advent Calendar includes 24 unique labels and 16 came varieties from eight countries of origin for $59.99. Each wine label has a QR code that buyers can scan to find out more about the wine.
“The consumer is overwhelmed with an often unmanageable range of choices,” said Howard Meitiner, former president and CEO of Sephora USA. “There has been a movement towards new seasonal products.”