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New Realities of Christmas Shopping

Covid-19 is rewriting the rules of Christmas shopping. With each passing day the usual reminder of “only X shopping days until Christmas” is more relevant than ever. Let’s face it: there are some new realities of Christmas shopping we need to deal with. Nothing with COVID-19 has been predictable. In early June the common thinking was that most areas of the country were emerging from their quarantine. Restaurants and stores …
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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 …
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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 …
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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 …
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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 …
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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 …
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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 …
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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 …
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Amazon Fires the First Shot of Christmas Selling 2015

Christmas in July is typically limited to Hallmark’s new line of ornaments and QVC’s heat-of-summer Christmas shows. But Amazon has quietly lobbed the first bomb in the annual fight for Christmas selling dominance. The online retailer will hold a “Christmas-in-July” event that Amazon management promises will be better than Black Friday. The e-commerce giant is calling its special sales day Prime Day, after its $99-a-year program that gives customers free …
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Can Cyber Monday Save Christmas for Retailers?

You might have noticed big lines in front of stores on Thanksgiving night. No doubt you saw all the traffic the “new Black Friday” hours created everywhere on Thursday evening. Maybe even you joined the frenzy and went shopping after a traditional dinner of turkey will all the fixings. Perhaps you think Black Friday was a huge success for retailers. You would be wrong. Black Friday 2014 was a dismal …
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Consumers Cry Cash is King Over Credit Cards

The credit card breach at Target stores during the 2013 Christmas shopping season affected 70 million shoppers from Black Friday forward. The effects of that event have been far reaching. Target suffered a horrible holiday sales period and has since struggled to recover. The whole nasty situation has left a hesitant taste in the mouth of consumers, nearly half of which surveys show will spend with cash this Christmas instead …
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UPS Asks Retailers to Spread Out Last Minute Christmas Deals

UPS famously blew the delivery of Christmas to millions last year. And they think it is unfair for them to shoulder the blame. When gift givers purchased goodies from online retailers who “guaranteed” overnight delivery for last minute purchases UPS’ delivery system was pushed beyond capacity and a lot of stuff didn’t get delivered until after Christmas. This year UPS is taking steps to avoid a repeat. They have a …