What Sears Meant to Christmas

What Sears Meant to Christmas

The news has been decades in the making: iconic retailer Sears is closing its doors for good this year. The effect of their loss, like that of Toys R Us, will not matter one bit to consumers. But the loss of Sears to Christmas history is worthy of note. Once upon a time Sears was the yearly watch-word for Christmas shoppers and Santa dreamers coast to coast. Kids everywhere marked the day when the Sears Christmas Wishbook would show up in the mail. Generations took their children to Sears to have their pictures taken with Santa. It was the placeRead 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 duringRead 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 ChristmasRead 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

32 Million Americans Already Christmas Shopping

32 Million Americans Already Christmas Shopping

A new survey by CreditCards.com has media analysts in shock: more than 32 million Americans have already started their Christmas shopping, the survey reveals. That seems to fly in the face of a media-generated figure that 70 percent of Americans are “annoyed” by Christmas creep. Of course — they only surveyed about 1000 people. But claiming it is scientific anyway, CreditCards.com concludes that online shopping is growing in popularity with a full 14 percent now saying they prefer to do it all online. And the younger the age group the less likely that any kind of Christmas shopping has beenRead more

Five Ways to Save Money on Christmas in August

Five Ways to Save Money on Christmas in August

Not many have Christmas yet on their mind as the calendar turns to August. But this is actually a great time of year to save money items you purchase to either use or gift at Christmas. Here is what’s cheap in the dog days of summer: 1. Purchase travel – Planning a Christmas getaway? Buy those tickets now, especially for airfare – they won’t get any cheaper between now and Thanksgiving. Hotel accommodations won’t necessarily be cheap but they will be less expensive now than they will be later – and reservations now will at least you ensure you getRead more