It's too early for Christmas music, Canadian drugstore chain says
Shoopers are used to seeing Christmas displays early in the shopping season, but one Canadian retailer says the first week of November is too early for Christmas music.
November 5th, 2012
10:27 AM ET

It's too early for Christmas music, Canadian drugstore chain says

It’s a question most of us seem to have pondered at some point: When should stores start on the Christmas season?

For one Canadian drugstore chain, the first week in November is too soon, at least for the sounds of the season.

Shoppers Drug Mart pulled Christmas music from its almost 1,200 stores across Canada at midnight Friday after hearing complaints from customers that they weren’t quite ready for the season to be jolly.

“Hi everyone, due to recent complaints around the Christmas music being played in stores we want to advise you that as of midnight EST tonight, all Christmas music will be suspended until further notice. We do take customer feedback to heart, and it does lead to change,” the chain announced on its Facebook page.

The posting has drawn more than 7,300 “likes” and almost 6,000 comments as of Monday morning, the majority of them positive.

“I'm so pleased with Shoppers' decision,” writes Nathalie Prezeau. “I wanted time to digest my Halloween candies before starting to think about the plum pudding.”

Some customers said they’ll give Shoppers Drug Mart more of their business.

“This is awesome. Christmas has been rammed down consumer's throats earlier and earlier each year. I will be shopping at your store more often to avoid it!” wrote Lori Anne Stoute.

James MacFarlane said Christmas music in stores makes him fell “like being trapped in an endless jukebox.”

“Thank you!” MacFarlane wrote. “It turns me off of even going into stores over the holiday season knowing it's endless Christmas music everywhere. Having two months of it is insane.”

The sanity of the chain’s employees was on the minds of some who commented.

Wayne Gerand Martin said hearing the sounds of the season eight hours a day “would drive me nuts. It would take the Christmas spirit out of the employees.”

“Your employees probably are thanking you too having to listen to Christmas music for 2 months is just too long,” wrote Janet Williams.

But not everyone is happy with the delay of the Christmas music.

“This is silly to stop Christmas music. The Christmas season is way too short and it stops immediately after Christmas. Play on,” wrote Kathryn Lawlor Haynes Gibson.

Another took her dissent a bit further.

“What a disappointment to take something so joyful and degrade it with negativity,” wrote Trisha Trudell. “Take the commercialism aside, Christmas is the most wonderful time of year to show love and equality and be giving and kind. What's so wrong with sharing in this early.”

So guess who won’t be getting Trudell's holiday business this year, or any year?

“Depending on how (S)hoppers handles this situation going forward will determine if I will ever continue to shop at shoppers drug mart again,” she wrote.

One customer said more power to Trudell and those like her.

“Go ahead and boycott the company, though. Shorter line ups AND not having to deal with Christmas music 7 freaking weeks before the day,.... BONUS!!!” Cassandra Nadeau wrote.

So when is the right time for Christmas music in stores?

Many of those commenting on Facebook said retailers should wait until after Remembrance Day, Canada’s equivalent of Veterans Day in the U.S., which Canada will mark on November 11 or 12, depending on the province.

“The Respect for those Veterans during Veteran's week and Remembrance day should not have to be in competition with Rudolph and Frosty,” wrote Tanya Murray.

While the chain is not giving a definitive date when Christmas music will return, it’s certainly not forsaking the season.

Check the chain’s website and the first thing you’ll see is an offer to sign up to win a $2,000 holiday shopping spree. Offer expires December 3. Plenty of time to shop before Christmas.

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Filed under: Business • Canada • Christmas • Holidays
soundoff (99 Responses)
  1. Herry69

    too bad we couldn't get tv commercials to stop the christmas music...

    November 5, 2012 at 10:55 am | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Portland tony

    I'm friggin' sure the folks in Jersy and NYC are pondering this most important issue. It's not about Christmas, it's about a gimmick to sell stuff!

    November 5, 2012 at 10:55 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • Andy

      I have a feeling that New Yorkers will still buy plenty of crappy Chinese products this holiday season. Don't you worry.

      November 5, 2012 at 11:22 am | Report abuse |
    • Rick

      You said it. The stores today are more interested in the almighty dollar. They could care less about what Christmas is really about. Money truly is the root of all evil.

      November 5, 2012 at 11:28 am | Report abuse |
    • You said it!

      How come there's no "Like" button?

      November 5, 2012 at 11:54 am | Report abuse |
  3. Jeff Frank (R-Ohio) "Right Wing Insanity"

    Christmas is overhead between the percocets and the tampons.

    November 5, 2012 at 10:56 am | Report abuse | Reply
  4. person

    Brace yourself for evangelical baloney about how this represents the mythical "war on Christmas."

    November 5, 2012 at 11:05 am | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Cherries

    Nordstrom does the same thing, and I really admire them for it.
    If you start decorating right after Halloween, by the time Christmas actually comes around, you're totally sick of it.

    November 5, 2012 at 11:05 am | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Hanna

    The Christmas season shouldn't start until the day AFTER Thanksgiving! So tired of rushing everything especially holidays. Relax and enjoy life. I wish stores here in the states wouldn't decorate until the week of Thanksgiving. That's the same time Christmas music should start to play

    November 5, 2012 at 11:06 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • ZeusCarver

      Totally agree with you. Give the Thanksgiving holiday some recognition and when it's over we can think about Christmas.

      November 5, 2012 at 11:14 am | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      I agree!
      Some of our stores had Christmas decorations along side of their Halloween costume displays.
      Way too early...it's as in Thanksgiving doesn't even exist.
      Rather like the bathing suit displays in January...c'mon now!

      November 5, 2012 at 11:36 am | Report abuse |
  7. johhn surphlis

    when i was child in the 1950's and a teen 1960's every store was ready for christmas after remembrnace day here in canada

    November 5, 2012 at 11:12 am | Report abuse | Reply
  8. asdrel

    My own opinion: don't start the Christmas elevator music until Black Friday at the earliset. Let us enjoy Thanksgiving first.

    November 5, 2012 at 11:12 am | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Mackey

    They don't celebrate Christmas up in Canada anyhows. They are just a bunch of heathens up there.

    November 5, 2012 at 11:16 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • Jane

      Well mackay...us heathens up here in Canada, do celebrate Christmas. We love it, but we think rememberance day on nov 11 deserves the respect. Don't forget us heathens are helping your fellow hurricane victims trying to restore power, and we were all to glad to open our homes on sept 11. People like you are the reason why Americans are viewed so negatively.

      November 5, 2012 at 11:41 am | Report abuse |
    • logicalgirl

      Jane- we Americans are also sarcastic. This was a good example.

      November 5, 2012 at 2:17 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Greg

    It's the Great White North. Nothing but hosers and snow up there.

    November 5, 2012 at 11:18 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • Guest

      You are so wrong: Headquake is up there!

      November 5, 2012 at 11:36 am | Report abuse |
  11. tutuvabene

    Years ago, Christmas advertising didn't start until after Thanksgiving. Now, Christmas advertising creep seems to have set in with it beginning after Halloween. Let's go back to celebrating one holiday at a time.

    November 5, 2012 at 11:18 am | Report abuse | Reply
  12. crabman

    now if only home depot and a few others would follow suit

    November 5, 2012 at 11:19 am | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Henry Allen

    Try to imagine listening to endless repeats of Little Drummer Boy for two months if you're a retail clerk. Then, just before Christmas, you're snowed under by pushy, cranky demanding customers while forcing yourself to keep a frozen smile on your face. It's a wonder more retail clerks don't flip out and, yelling a fiendish scream, tackle the store Santa in the middle of his 273rd "Ho Ho" of the day.

    November 5, 2012 at 11:21 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • logicalgirl

      Having worked in retail for many years- you are completely right. Think the checkout girl is cranky? This is why.

      November 5, 2012 at 2:19 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Rob

    If you decide where to shop over what music they play, you have deeper issues than you realize. Get a life.

    November 5, 2012 at 11:41 am | Report abuse | Reply
  15. Northside View

    I was in Macy's this weekend and they had Elvis, Bing Crosby, etc, Christmas songs blaring over the speakers. I had planned to spend a few bucks, but then after hearing the music, I decided to come back when they started their holiday sales. So, I guess they missed out on a little bit of a profit this time.

    But, yeah, hearing Christmas music on November 3rd is too soon for me.

    Go Bears

    November 5, 2012 at 11:44 am | Report abuse | Reply
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