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 ChristmasRead 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 aRead 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-refundableRead 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 isRead more

There are No Heroes Among Retailers at Thanksgiving

There are No Heroes Among Retailers at Thanksgiving

The Black Friday mania is starting to ramp up as evidenced in this Sunday’s newspapers coast-to-coast. Supposedly Christmas shoppers are cheering the blockbuster deals already. But no doubt you have seen percolating on social media the inevitable memes showing which retailers will “honor employees and their families” while staying closed on Thanksgiving day or evening. One looks like this: Retailers are falling all over each other to stake a claim by issuing high minded press releases that tout either not doing business or by offering deals so beneficial for families that they will want to shop on Thanksgiving. Do notRead more

Thanksgiving Shopping is the 21st Century Christmas

Thanksgiving Shopping is the 21st Century Christmas

Don’t kid yourself: if you thought the stores opening on Thanksgiving last year was horrible brace yourselves for even worse. Even though there was a huge outcry against malls and stores opening on Thanksgiving Day last year and even though there were enough online petitions to give retailers serious pause it is NOT going to change. The encroachment on Thanksgiving by Christmas sales is complete and will only get worse. Welcome to Christmas of the 21st century. Once again there is a brewing backlash. Staples, Game Stop and TJX Stores — that would be TJ Maxx, Marshalls and Home GoodsRead more

The Year Santa was Nearly Banned

The Year Santa was Nearly Banned

It is interesting to note in this day and age when Christmas shopping can be done on a device you hold in your hand and whatever it is you buy can be shipped to your home without you ever getting dressed what it was like 97 years ago as the U.S. government grappled with the idea of another Christmas at war. The year was 1918 and war was raging in Europe. As wars went, it was a ugly as could be. It had been four years since the Christmas truce of 1914 but Christmas for 1918 was looking anything butRead more

Macy’s Christmas Suits a Hot Trend in 2015

Macy’s Christmas Suits a Hot Trend in 2015

Macy’s is skipping right past the ugly Christmas sweater trend this year and going into the ugly Christmas suit business. For $99 you can either order online or walk into any of 310 Macy’s stores nationwide and pick of a dandy party favor like this: For as much as Macy’s would love to claim being cutting edge on this one they are really just riding the wave of popularity that these suits established last year in London. Just three years old, the OppoSuits brand is sold in high-end retailers and specialty boutiques across Europe. Macy’s began offering several of theirRead more

Retailers Starting to Avoid Thanksgiving Openings

Retailers Starting to Avoid Thanksgiving Openings

In recent years the waters of Black Friday were significantly muddied by retailers pushing store openings to Thanksgiving Day. The move resulted in both a public and employee backlash who prefer Thanksgiving as a time for family and personal time off. Social media campaigns were launched to boycott Thanksgiving sales and holiday traditionalists were quick to criticize the money-grab. But retailers insisted they had to do something to combat online retailer who were capturing sales during Thanksgiving hours. Now it appears offline retailers are starting to cave. More than a week ago troubled retailer Staples announced it would not openRead more