The Fear Of Christmas Engulfs Retail This Year


Merry_christmasBusiness Week  has an interesting article out on how retailers want all the income from Christmas but are afraid of the holiday. I think they nailed it. If a retailer went all out with a big CHRISTMAS sale instead of this Holiday malarky they probably would win on the public relations from and also make a boatload of money.

It used to be that people wrung their hands about the over-commercialization of Christmas. These days we have almost the opposite problem—Christmas is disappearing entirely. Advertisers still want the huge spike in sales that Christmas provides but they’re afraid to acknowledge the holiday itself.
It’s almost funny to watch them trip over themselves trying to find politically correct substitutions as they avoid saying the dreaded “C” word. But “happy holidays” and “season’s greetings” only go so far. They sound hollow and synthetic, and that kind of approach is no way to build a connection with your target audience.
It seems companies have become so afraid of offending some mythical person out there that they’re unwilling to express their true sentiments. After 20 years in the advertising business there’s one thing I’ve learned: Every ad is offensive to someone. Still, I find it a stretch to think that wishing your customers a “Merry Christmas” is going to set somebody off. And if it does, well, there’s a word for them: Scrooge. via BusinessWeek.

Posted December 19, 2006 by
WTF | 10 comments

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  • Comments

    10 Responses to “The Fear Of Christmas Engulfs Retail This Year”

    1. R-squared on December 19th, 2006 9:04 pm

      Slowly but surely political correctness will destroy America. Everything will offend somebody. Tough. The best video I have seen in a long time has a statement at the bottom – “If you are offended by this video, don’t watch it.” I think that makes perfect sense. The same applies to Merry Christmas. If you don’t like the sound of Merry Christmas, don’t listen. If you don’t like a sign that says Merry Christmas, don’t read it. And, perhaps most important of all, if you are from somewhere else and don’t like the way things are done in America, go back to where you came from. You won’t be missed.

    2. micah on December 19th, 2006 10:26 pm

      It’s really pretty simple: don’t patronize stores that refuse to say, “Merry Christmas”. THE END.

      When merchants scratch their heads and wonder why the receipts are lacking, the stores are empty, the merchandise is piling up – and has to be marked down to move it…
      They’ll say, “MERRY CHRISTMAS!”.

      98% of Americans celebrate Christmas…
      So how else are merchants going to pay for representation if the 2+/-% of people who are offended should sue?

    3. Crimson on December 19th, 2006 10:46 pm

      First of all, I would like to preface this post with how much I love this site. I find this site much more informative than even my local news station regarding NH, and I live less than 25 miles from Mt Brook.

      But, with all due respect, there are many other beliefs/faiths with holidays during this season. Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and several others. I don’t think it should ‘set anyone off’ at the sound or sight of Merry Christmas, but I also do not think it shouldn’t be felt that there is a war on Christmas by people being thoughtful of others by wishing them a “Happy Holiday” of their choice or belief. Although you feel that “Happy Holidays” seems watered down, it can be just as truly heartfelt as Merry Christmas.

      and to R-squared, I do not celebrate Christmas as a religious holiday, and MY ancestors were Native (Americans) to here, but I guess that would be a different debate. :)

      Happiest of All Holidays to everyone, peace on earth and good will towards all.

    4. NOT AS STUPID AS YOU THINK on December 20th, 2006 4:17 am

      The point about retailers wanting Christmas (the Hoiliday Seasons) to be the time of year where they make most of their profits for the year is true. My brother was into retail management for many years and he told me that the companies expect Christmas to bring in 80% of their years profits.

      As time has gone by I have notice changes. At first they had “after Christmas sales”, where you couldn’t resist buying things because they were such great prices. Then they decided to bump up the “after Christmas” sales to just before Christmas, which was great for everyone. Then they went to “the day after Thanksgiving” sales, which is still popular. The retailers had great sales for the whole weekend (versus several weeks). Recently, we have gone to the one day only, “early bird” great sales on the day after thanksgiving, where you line up at 4 am to 5 am to get in on the bargins that only run till noon. This year, most of the bargins were “sale priced after rebate” where you have to fill out all this paperwork and then mail it off before you can see “the bargin” of your purchase.

      I have also notied that the stores don’t offer “great bargins” like they used to do. No matter what, they will not reduce the merchandize below a few dollars off. They never give you the great sales of yester-year.

      The retailers seem to want to make the profit now without the great sales!

    5. kitty on December 20th, 2006 5:56 am

      Well said.

      It’s true… Merry Christmas, is no longer “Christmas” and with all due respect to other’s beliefs, I’m tired of all the “political correctness”. There was a family in our community who had a cross lit up on the fire station in memory of a fire fighter for 40 years and the political correctness in Town, et all… ACLU… made them take it down ~ how sad was that? Manger scenes are no longer allowed ~ God is being removed from everything in our country and now taken out of one step (mentioning God,in military funeral foldings of the American flag)… I feel that’s a disgrace and dishonor to the memory of the men and women who’ve served our country ~ I’m sure praying to God for protection. During wartime, fighting stopped Christmas was observed and the enemy would even be known to have sung Christmas carols together ~ calling a truce, then begin fighting afterwards..(that doesn’t even make sense)…when you think about it, but it was true. Our Country is imploding. For some, Christmas is every day… The merchants should feel comfortable saying Merry Christmas as well as any other holiday… as written above ~ Scrooge seems to be getting his way a lot more than I’d like to see happening in our country…his initals are ACLU ~ Merry Christmas to all and to all a God night~

    6. kay zee ess on December 20th, 2006 9:05 am

      ….and festivus for the rest of us.

      I put away the PC a long time ago, Crimson. Merry Christmas to you all at Scared Monkeys. And Happy Holidays to those offended by the wish and greeting of good tidings.

    7. MIss-Underestimated on December 20th, 2006 10:14 am

      Let’s think this out, why do the stores want all the money?What is the reason for the season? it’s CHRISTMAS. The retailers cannot be so idiotic to know that 90 percent of their sales are due to CHRISTMAS shopping.

      So what I have done is to deliberatley say MERRY CHRISTMAS to all the sales persons at the stores and everyone of those persons have returned my MERRY CHRISTMAS back, see, as consumers we have to train the corporations on what we want. So if you celebrate CHRISTMAS, tell everyone MERRY CHRISTMAS, (I have written MERRY CHRISTMAS on my checks to the stores, so they get the picture) even if they don’t celebrate, well, they should understand that you are wishing them love.

      Christmas has been on attack , and those who celebrate CHRISTMAS, must be sure to let others know that you are in the stores because you are purchasing CHRISTMAS gifts.

      So to everyone MERRY CHRISTMAS….

      BTW to those who take offense, your next religous holiday may come under the same attack.

    8. Richard on December 20th, 2006 12:03 pm

      I don’t mind the phrase “the holiday season,” for as Crimson says, there are other religious and spiritual events at this time of year. The nonsense about suing airports for displaying ornaments is just that … but I can understand if someone wishes to pay respects to any and all religions.

      What provokes me is when this be-nice-to-everyone idea is taken to an extreme degree, even to the point of distorting the truth.

      Example? A Christmas tree is just that … a CHRISTMAS TREE, not a “holiday” tree. Calling it by any name other than its proper one is absurd.

    9. Richard on December 20th, 2006 12:04 pm

      By the way, something I never wondered about before:

      if Christmas is the Christian holy day (though I wonder if Good Friday would be a claimant for the term), what would Satanists use as their “holy” day?

    10. dennisintn on December 24th, 2006 6:04 pm

      MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY NEW YEAR, monkeys, i hope and pray we can all celebrate the return of natalee to alabama, and justice for those who harmed her.

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