SCHITT'S CREEK, from left: Eugene Levy, Annie Murphy, Catherine O'Hara, 'The Olive Branch', (Season 4, ep. 409, originally aired March 20, 2018). photo: Christos Kalohordis / ©CBC / courtesy Everett Collection

Hudson’s Bay is starting its holiday season six weeks earlier this year and will get a fourth-quarter lift with a campaign featuring “Schitt’s Creek” stars Catherine O’Hara and Annie Murphy, WWD has learned.

It’s clear Hudson’s Bay lucked out casting O’Hara and Murphy in its holiday campaign, in light of the show’s sweep of last Sunday’s Emmy Awards. The comedy won nine Emmys, two of which went to O’Hara for best actress in a comedy series and Murphy for both supporting actress in a comedy series.

The Canadian actresses will make their Hudson’s Bay holiday debut on Nov. 2, through the retailer’s social channels, and during primetime television. Integrating the actresses into Hudson’s Bay holiday campaign makes a lot of sense since both the department store chain is Canadian, based in Toronto, and the show is set in Canada.

SCHITT'S CREEK, Catherine O'Hara, 'Asbestos Fest', (Season 4, ep. 403, originally premiered Jan. 23, 2018). photo: ©CBC / courtesy Everett Collection

Catherine O’Hara received an Emmy for best lead actress in a comedy.  CBC (Canadian Broadcast Corp.) / Courtesy Everett Collectio

No details of the campaign’s script were available, though Hudson’s Bay cited the actresses’ humor, enthusiasm and style. The show, which chronicles the misadventures of a once wealthy family forced to relocate to a small town the father purchased as a joke, first aired in January 2015 and concluded its run last spring.

Hudson’s Bay will commence its holiday selling push earlier this year, “delivering some much needed nostalgic comfort” beginning Oct. 2 on, and at its 89 stores on Oct. 5, the company said Tuesday. Hudson’s Bay is a division of the Hudson’s Bay Co., which also operates Saks Fifth Avenue and Saks Off 5th.

Several other major retailers have already indicated they will kick off their holiday campaigns earlier this year, due to a desire to spread out the foot traffic over a longer period and limit crowd size in their stores because of the pandemic. They are also trying to capture greater market share, and are encouraging earlier shopping so customers can purchase the gifts they want before they run out. Inventories are being kept down in light of the COVID-19-induced recession, although some companies are finding they may cut back too drastically and are now scrambling to get goods. Retailers also are encouraging consumers to shop early to avoid any potential stockouts. Retailers also want to ease shipping burdens from increased online ordering, which is expected.

SCHITT'S CREEK, from left: Catherine O'Hara, Eugene Levy, Annie Murphy, 'Finding David', (Season 2, ep. 201, originally aired Jan. 12, 2016). photo: ©CBC / courtesy Everett Collection

Catherine O’Hara, Eugene Levy and Annie Murphy in Schitt’s Creek  ©CBC (Canadian Broadcast Corp.) / Courtesy Everett Collectio

Aside from Hudson’s Bay, Best Buy Co. Inc., Kohl’s Corp., Target Corp. and Walmart Inc. have indicated they will start to market holiday assortments earlier, in early or mid-October, rather than right after Halloween as widely seen in recent years.

Experts predict that for holiday 2020, flash sales will make a comeback online; doorbusters at brick-and-mortar stores will be reserved compared to past years, to avoid stampedes at opening hours and maintain social distancing; there won’t be the sharp peaks and troughs in sale velocity as seen in past years, and the usual lull in shopping that occurs after Black Friday weekend and Cyber Monday, and lasts for about two weeks, won’t be as noticeable.

Annie Murphy received an Emmy for best supporting actress in a comedy. 

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