In recent years, the festive season has seen a shift in how retailers approach holiday greetings, with a growing number of major stores opting for “Merry Christmas” over the more generic “Happy Holidays.” This change reflects a desire among retailers to connect more authentically with their customers and to uplift spirits during the holiday season. Let’s take a closer look at some prominent department stores and their individual decisions regarding this trend.
Hobby Lobby: Known for its Christian-centric approach, Hobby Lobby has always been a forerunner in embracing Christmas. The store plays instrumental Christian music year-round, closes on Sundays for church and family time, and has been actively involved in legal battles to uphold its beliefs. This commitment extends to their holiday greetings, where “Merry Christmas” is heartily endorsed, reflecting the company’s dedication to keeping Christ in Christmas.
Belk: Joining Hobby Lobby in embracing Christmas cheer, Belk department store has moved away from the “Happy Holidays” phrase. This store is recognized for its commitment to the traditional Christmas spirit, evident in its decorations and customer interactions.
Nordstrom: This high-end department store celebrates Christmas in a unique way. Nordstrom waits until after the Thanksgiving holiday to start its Christmas decorations, allowing employees to fully enjoy Thanksgiving. The decorations are done on Wednesday before Thanksgiving, so when Black Friday arrives, the store is completely transformed, welcoming shoppers into a festive Christmas environment.
Home Depot: Known for its extensive range of home improvement products, Home Depot has been recognized for regularly using “Christmas” in its marketing and in-store signage. This approach aligns the brand with a Christmas-friendly image, appealing to customers who appreciate the traditional holiday greeting.
Wal-Mart: As one of the largest retail chains, Wal-Mart has received high praise for its celebration of Christmas. The store has earned a “5-Star” rating from the American Family Association (AFA) for its exceptional promotion and celebration of Christmas, making it a standout in embracing the festive spirit.
Macy’s: Famous for its annual Thanksgiving Day Parade, Macy’s extends its celebration of Christmas beyond this event. The store frequently uses “Christmas” in its marketing and has themed its New York City storefront with a “Believe” motif, reinforcing its commitment to the Christmas holiday.
JCPenney: Despite its diverse advertising in the past, JCPenney has been recognized for keeping Christmas a prominent theme in its shopping experience, both in stores and online. This change highlights the store’s adaptability and its response to the public’s preference for traditional Christmas celebrations.
Bass Pro Shops: Known for its outdoor and sporting goods, Bass Pro Shops actively promotes Christmas celebrations, in line with its adventurous brand image. The store’s alignment with Christmas festivities is seen as an extension of its commitment to family and traditional values.
Lowe’s: Lowe’s is often described as a “Christmas city,” particularly evident on its website where the word “Christmas” is used prolifically. This abundant use of Christmas-themed language and decorations in-store underscores Lowe’s dedication to embracing the holiday spirit fully.
Toys ‘R Us: Surprisingly, Toys ‘R Us has also embraced “Merry Christmas” enthusiastically. Known for its annual “Christmas Catalog,” the store has made a significant shift towards Christmas, emphasizing the holiday in its product offerings and store decor.
In summary, these department stores’ decisions to emphasize “Merry Christmas” reflect a broader trend in society towards acknowledging and celebrating cultural traditions more openly. It represents a conscious effort by these companies to connect with their customers on a more personal and traditional level during the holiday season, adding to the festive atmosphere and the spirit of togetherness that characterizes this time of the year.