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. Sick of Xmas

    If Romney wins, now I'll have 2 reasons to move to Canada.

    November 5, 2012 at 2:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Samuel

      It is nice up here. Good health care. Low taxes. Lower crime rate. Fewer guns. Nice people. Pretty snow. Plus we have a real cool Canadian accent and a maple leaf on our flag. WE RULE ! Come join the fun here in Canada. You are always welcome. : )

      November 5, 2012 at 2:31 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Hide Behind

    Oft I wonder, Why do so many wait until end of year to give gifts, and now I wonder if maybe it is the music that drives them to shop.
    When did tradition become one of conditioning, where an inner emotion became an outward expression of love into I gotta get a gift for everyone and that gift must have bling or they will think I am cheap and or do not love them much.
    To hell with xmas music. The gift of giving knows no day time of year bounds. Find ways no matter the date to gift others woth material things that make them sad.
    Give a poor man or woman. You do not know tje coat shirt pants and food they need when not wait until the syores say its time again.

    November 5, 2012 at 2:21 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Orion

    I think right after Thanksgiving (in the US), is the time to switch to Christmas music and decorations.

    November 5, 2012 at 2:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nathan

      Yep, you should put up the decor the Friday after Thanksgiving with the family and then put on Jingle Bells for the first time. Then you run it out to the first weekend of the New Year. Christmas is a wonderful, magical time of year, but having decor for sell before Halloween and Christmas music playing on November 1 is just annoying.

      November 6, 2012 at 10:30 am | Report abuse |
  4. marilynn

    Well that is refreshing! I don't think they should advertise or play Christmas music until after Thanksgiving. We need to "give thanks" and remember "the reason for the season."

    November 5, 2012 at 2:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • karen14217

      Of course, this store is in Canada, their Thanksgiving is the second Monday in October (same as US Columbus Day)!! That would drag out the season even more!!

      I love xmas, but I think the music and bruha-ha should start Dec. 1.

      November 6, 2012 at 6:04 am | Report abuse |
  5. Jerry

    Have to agree that this is WAY too early to start Christmas music. After US Thanksgiving is okay, but before that is just crazy. If you really want to listen to Christmas music before that (or after Christmas) load it up on your phone.

    And I have to agree with others about the employees – I know from working retail for years that hearing Christmas music 40+ hours a week is exhausting. You just want to get away from it by the end. And then you go to your family's house where they are in the Christmas spirit playing Christmas music and you just want to cry. So the less the employees have to hear it, the better off their sanity will be.

    November 5, 2012 at 2:31 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Samuel

    Oh Canadaaaaa our home and native land . . .

    November 5, 2012 at 2:32 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Samuel

    Canada the Beautiful. We are more than just America's hat.

    November 5, 2012 at 2:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nigel

      Is that why so many Canadians immigrate to the US ?

      November 6, 2012 at 2:58 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Hide Behind

    Don't give a fig leaf or an Oak leaf either about what Canadians want, have no use for subjects.
    Objectively I will say Canadians are better informed on american politics than americans as a whole and yet they have no more say in national priority as put forth by their own political leaders than we do.
    To each their own and to each, MYOB.
    There are no US foreign policy decisions made today than what Canadians follow along behind like little girls wanting to be kissed and then to be paid for it.

    November 5, 2012 at 3:44 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Logan

    And this is news?????

    November 5, 2012 at 6:48 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Greek American

    Hahaha, some of you Americans are funny, considering Halloween as being an actual holiday? Figures. Now make sure all of you get out and vote for a billionaire Mormon cheerleader who wears magic underwear for President tomorrow.

    November 5, 2012 at 11:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Donnie the Lion

      Halloween is not a government holiday.....still my favorite.

      November 6, 2012 at 9:59 am | Report abuse |
  11. jem

    Wow... Finally, I worked there for six years and endured long bouts of Christmas music. Holidays shouldn't trump other ones. One at a time.

    November 6, 2012 at 6:06 am | Report abuse |
  12. Donnie the Lion

    If I were running the show, I would take gift giving out of Christmas, and make it a New Year's Day activity. Make the religious holidays ALL about celebrating the various faiths....donations and gifts to the needy, that's fine. But move the traditional gift giving to New Year's Day, a more secular occasion.

    November 6, 2012 at 9:59 am | Report abuse |
  13. Ryan

    This is ridiculous, why would you not want to think about Christmas! It's a happy time, and it's not far away. I bet the people who complained about it are last minute shoppers and Scrooge's!

    November 6, 2012 at 11:40 am | Report abuse |
  14. Paul

    Uh.. which province celebrates Rememberance Day on the 12th?
    "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."

    November 6, 2012 at 4:47 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Kal

    I don't mind 2 months of Christmas music, but that should be December and January. I really hate it when the stores and radio stations stop the Christmas music on Dec 26. I enjoy my music and decorations all January – with the shopping and running around over, that is when I can truly enjoy it.

    November 6, 2012 at 5:04 pm | Report abuse |
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