Target wishes you a happy holiday…in October?

Here’s the annual debate (from RetailWire) about “how early is too early” to start advertising Christmas and holiday merchandise. This year, Target is ahead of the pack, and I consider their move defensible:

There are plenty of big-box competitors already advertising their holiday toy departments, and Target — with a big investment of space and inventory in this business — can’t sit on the sidelines. The early holiday advertising has the added benefit of pushing the price-matching message. What worked in 2010 may not be the right tactic for 2012, if consumers are prepared to shop earlier for most-wanted items on their list…and if Target is prepared to capture market share as a result.

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