Eighty-eight per cent of consumers think seasonal items hit shelves too soon each year and would prefer retailers not to promote them until at least the middle of November, according to a survey conducted by Aldata.

More than half of shoppers (72%) said early Christmas stocking resulted in irrelevant items hitting shelves, taking the focus off other essential items.

Aldata estimates that 5% of grocery shopping for Christmas has already occurred.

“Christmas seems to come to the shop floor earlier each year and with Halloween’s popularity rising, supermarkets are struggling to accommodate the convergence of different promotions and seasonal stock without causing confusion for their customers”, said Matt Robinson, market development director at Aldata.