Five Things the Christmas Shopper Should Know About Prime Day

Five Things the Christmas Shopper Should Know About Prime Day

The Internet has changed so many things when it comes to how we spend money. Amazon hopes that is true as it touts Prime Day, the third year in a row of what they are hoping is an annual shopping event that rivals Black Friday. That is their hope, but it will never be their reality. But for the savvy Christmas shopper – even a very forward thinking Christmas shopper – Prime Day can indeed become part of great Christmas in July celebrations. It begins by understanding what Prime Day really is and what it is not: 1. It’s a clearance sale Amazon is no different than any other retailer in the history of time. July is a dead salesRead more

Facebook Knows What You Want for Christmas

Facebook Knows What You Want for Christmas

Facebook knows better than Santa what everyone in your house wants for Christmas – and they are going to make sure you will know what’s on their wish list. It’s a whole new world of creepy advertising. And you made it all possible. When you signed up for Facebook you granted the world’s most prolific website entry into nearly every corner of your life. They know who you are, where you work, when you were born, where you went to high school and even who your favorite sports teams are. They know every one of your friends. They can connect you to nearly all of your family. They can likely figure out who you ex is, who you voted for,Read more

Christmas Shipping Charges to Cost More

Christmas Shipping Charges to Cost More

Attention Christmas shoppers – your Black Friday and December shipping expenses are going up. UPS has declared that a peak-season surcharge will be added to all shipped items during traditional Christmas shopping events such as Black Friday, Cyber Monday and last minute week-of-Christmas rush orders. The company’s official release said, “”At various times throughout the year UPS must flex its delivery network to meet increased demand, including nearly doubling its normal volume during the November and December holiday season. To help enable UPS to continue to provide best-in-class value to customers while offsetting some of the additional expenses incurred during significant volume surges, UPS will begin implementing Peak Surcharges in 2017″. FedEx, United States Postal Service and other major shippersRead more

10 Ways to Make Your Christmas Card Unique This Year

10 Ways to Make Your Christmas Card Unique This Year

We all tend to see the same Christmas cards year after year — a Christmas greeting in traditional red and green, perhaps with a festive family photo. But what if you tried something new and different this year? From cheap Christmas cards with funny wording to more elaborate cards that shimmer and shine, we’ve got some fresh ideas for putting a new spin on your annual Christmas cards. Let’s take a look! 1. Include Your Family Pet Let’s face it — our furry friends are 10 times more photogenic than we are. Why not let them hog the limelight this year? Use your pet’s favorite treat to bribe them to sit still for a shot in a Santa hat orRead more

The Economy and Etiquette of Gift Cards for Christmas

The Economy and Etiquette of Gift Cards for Christmas

There seems to be a love/hate relationship many have with gift cards. Some call such items impersonal while others embrace gift cards as quite the thoughtful gift. Like them or not, gift cards have become one of the most popularly exchanged items of Christmas. According to giftcards.com more than $100 billion is spent on gift cards annually and 93% of U.S. consumers claim purchasing or receiving a gift card each year. As the e-commerce economy grows so too have the rules of gift card etiquette shifted. For example, it used to be thought that a store gift card was more personal of a gift than a bank gift card. The thinking was that if you know a person’s favorite merchantRead more

Five Things to Buy for Christmas in the Summer

Five Things to Buy for Christmas in the Summer

It’s blazing hot outside – not a snowball in sight – and it’s time to buy for Christmas. No, we’re not talking big screen TVs or a hot video game system. We’re talking the nuts and bolts of Christmas you can and should shop for right now. July is traditionally the deadest period of the year for nearly all retailers. It is a month for mark-it-down-and-ship-it-out and stack-it-deep-and-sell-it-cheap. After all, most folks are vacationing or otherwise occupied with hot-weather pursuits. Absolutely nobody is in the stores. That’s why the season of sidewalk sales and Christmas-in-July dominates this time of year. Retailers will try anything to get something going. They know that with back-to-school starting there’s nothing much to do otherRead more

Why I Boycotted All Stores This Christmas

Why I Boycotted All Stores This Christmas

I cut my teeth in retailing back in the 1970s. I literally grew up in a retail environment. I have memories of spending nights in the store on an office floor in a sleeping bag while my parents worked the sales floor to get it ready for the next day. These were years when product was stacked deep, prices were cheap and crowds were big. It was long before the Internet or shopping on phones. I went on to a long career that I continue in retail. It’s in my blood. But I did not shop in stores this Christmas and I’ll tell you why: I cannot stand stores of today. The reasons have everything to do with me asRead more

Book Review: The Midwife of Bethlehem

Book Review: The Midwife of Bethlehem

For many the story of the Nativity is told simply enough in the 2nd Chapter of Luke in the New Testament. But lacking in that telling are illustrations that children love to see when hearing a story. Also missing is an eye-witness account of events that help translate feelings of what transpired. A new children’s book by Shad Driggs titled The Midwife of Bethlehem attempts to bridge those gaps. As with all children’s books, the adult reader has to get past what is known in a common story. The Nativity is a common story. The Midwife of Bethlehem is a fictional accounting of that story. So it feels a little odd to read a story that quotes scripture but straysRead more

Cashing in on Santa

Cashing in on Santa

The commercialization of Christmas is reaching ever new heights as retailers and marketers continue to try to cash in on Santa. From movies to music this has always been the case but the presence of Santa in the marketplace has usually been utilized as a draw — bring in Santa for the kids and the parents will come along to spend money. That used to be the conventional thinking. But now they are starting to charge access to Santa himself — and that has people outraged. A Chicago-area mall is under fire this Christmas season for charging a $10 non-refundable appointment fee to Santa. The move has shoppers outraged. This is a growing trend in upscale urban shopping malls thatRead more

Welcome to Walmart, Santa

Welcome to Walmart, Santa

You might see a different Walmart this Christmas. Uncle Wally is going all in for Christmas. There will be more Christmas music played in the stores. Festive decorations will be everywhere and not just for sale. And Santa will be there, with bells on, no doubt. Walmart is bringing on 3600 Santas for two weekends in December, all a part of what managers there call “holiday retailtainment”. It is part of a strategy Walmart is embracing to combat the relentless efforts of Amazon.com to be the king of Christmas. By creating the atmosphere of Christmas in the stores Walmart is betting customers will prefer it to the cold screen of discounts offered by Amazon. Walmart has had a lousy year.Read more

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