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. BoyHowdie

    Xmas music can start the day after Thanksgiving.

    November 5, 2012 at 12:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Diane

      BoyHowdie, Canadian Thanksgiving was back on Oct 8. So you're ok with two and a half months of Xmas music then? 😉

      November 5, 2012 at 1:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Amen


      November 5, 2012 at 1:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • harpman

      Diane, you know which Thanksgiving which she was referring to. Thank goodness someone is drawing a line. It's ridiculous to play that music for one fourth of a year. I like it, but good grief, let's play it during the season.

      November 5, 2012 at 1:42 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Hogan's Goat

    I probably won't even put up a tree this year because I'm desperately sick of being told Xmas is "endangered." The Imaginary War on Xmas has driven me away, folks. Baby Jesus is a bully; give me Santa any day.

    November 5, 2012 at 1:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • logicalgirl

      I'm with you 110%. Give me Festivus anyday.

      November 5, 2012 at 1:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Samuel

      Me too. Festivus for the restofus.

      November 5, 2012 at 2:02 pm | Report abuse |
  3. brax

    After Thanksgiving,when the Christmas really starts (advent). I avoid stores playing Christmas music too early. They take the joy and anticipation out of Christmas.

    November 5, 2012 at 1:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • brax

      U.S. Thanksgiving that is...

      November 5, 2012 at 1:08 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Cindy

    It honestly doesn't feel like the holidays are here until after (US) Thanksgiving anyway so it's pointless until then. Why jump to Christmas already when there's Thanksgiving before that? I found it mind-boggling when Halloween was approaching but yet they already had Christmas stuff out at stores too. I don't understand the need to rush things.

    November 5, 2012 at 1:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • logicalgirl

      Our habit of wishing our lives away.

      November 5, 2012 at 1:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • JeffinIL

      The less confident the retailers feel, the earlier they push Christmas. The bulk of their earnings come from Christmas sales. Apparently, the outlook for this year terrifies them.

      November 5, 2012 at 2:10 pm | Report abuse |
  5. James Bond

    Xmas in canada, yes or no? is your friend really just want an excuse to get drunk?

    November 5, 2012 at 1:21 pm | Report abuse |
  6. clown

    Xmas music shouldn't start untill December.

    November 5, 2012 at 1:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jay

      christmas music should never start

      November 5, 2012 at 2:04 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Jill

    I put my first (of four) Xmas trees up on Oct 8th. I'm def ready for the holiday and holiday music.

    November 5, 2012 at 1:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • logicalgirl

      So did my family when I was a girl. Which is exactly why I do not have any Christmas decorations, send cards, sing carols, etc. I despise the Xmas season because it was rammed down my throat for an entire third of the year. It is fabulous that you like the time so much, but you are bombarding the rest of us. Kinda takes the "special" out of it. I'd like to celebrate Halloween and Thanksgiving first please. Maybe I'd be more enclined to say Merry Christmas to you chipper folks if you'd let up a bit.

      November 5, 2012 at 1:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jay

      I was burning incense to satan on 8 Oct. How nice.

      November 5, 2012 at 2:06 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Robert Bell

    In the musical "Mame" there is a great song, "It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas" which was originally supposed to be ironic, but is now a Christmas standard.

    The original lyric included the line, "But Auntie Mame, It's only two weeks past Thanksgiving!" in reference to setting up Christmas decorations. Back then, that was considered "out there."

    In later recordings and performances, the lyric was changed to 'But Auntie Mame, it's only two weeks BEFORE Thanksgiving!"

    How times have changed. Perhaps today it would be, "Auntie Mame, it's only two week BEFORE HALLOWEEN!"

    Or Fourth of July. Take your pick.

    November 5, 2012 at 1:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • logicalgirl

      Which is why the Chipmunks version is the best. Dave in the background taking Alvin to task.

      November 5, 2012 at 1:56 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Spenser Amadeus

    Not only does the playing of Christmas music start too early, but it ends too early as well. Everyone continues to celebrate Christmas,visit friends, exchange gifts, during the week leading up to new Year's but Christmas music stops on December 26th when the stores start stocking the Valentine candy. Christmas music should start in stores and on the radio on December 1st and continue to be played right up until New Year's Even.

    November 5, 2012 at 1:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cassie

      No, it shouldn't. You maybe shop at a store once or twice a year while they play Christmas music. Employees have to listen to it everyday. It's annoying.

      November 5, 2012 at 2:16 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Lanfear

    First world issues....

    November 5, 2012 at 1:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • logicalgirl

      So get off your first world invention- the computer- and go out and save someone. Tired of being taken to task for having any issues and being told about "second" or "third" world issues. I contribute to solving those issues as much as I can too, but it doesn't negate my rights to not have to hear Jingle Bells in October. Another first world issue? Sanctimonious prigs.

      November 5, 2012 at 2:03 pm | Report abuse |
  11. jackson

    Our local Bartell's has an aisle that is 1/4 halloween candy on discount and 3/4 christmas decorations.

    November 5, 2012 at 1:50 pm | Report abuse |
  12. not big on Holidays

    Thanksgiving is the only true Holiday where family and friends can get together and have fun because money isn't involved. X-mas is just a big waste of money.

    November 5, 2012 at 1:56 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Larry

    I listen to Christmas music in May, the month Jesus was actually born.

    November 5, 2012 at 2:04 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Disgusted

    SERIOUSLY, it gets earlier and earlier each year!!! I'm in the US and can't believe when I turned on Sounds of the Season on TV the other day I heard Christmas Music playing already! And Christmas Movies on the Hallmark Channel already? RIDICULOUS! WAIT until after Thanksgiving to start ALL of this! If I were one of those employees who had to listen to it starting beginning of November, i'd QUIT!

    November 5, 2012 at 2:05 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Jay

    Definitely shouldn't be played until Thanksgiving.

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