Gift Wrath: Retailers Walk Fine Line at Christmas

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Be more jolly!
Gustavo blogged about California Coalition for Immigration Reform head Barbara Coe forwarding to her knuckle-dragging followers an article critical of Best Buy's all inclusive Thanksgiving greeting including a happy Eid Al-Adha wish to Muslims, which naturally forced Babs to conclude the electronic giant is run by Islamic terrorists.

This brings to mind a recent Brandweek piece that discussed the pickle retailers find themselves in when it comes to evoking Christmas in their stores.  The publication's for instances:

* Evoke Christmas and you may alienate some consumers.

* Don't evoke Christmas, and you'll incur the wrath of the Christian Right and groups like the American Family Association, as Best Buy, Kroger and Victoria's Secret have learned this year. (Victoria's Secret? Really? The chicks wear angel wings, fer chrissakes!)

* Singled out by whoever is doing the singling out for being the worst when it comes to not being jolly enough are Barnes & Noble, Staples and Dick's Sporting Goods. (It is true the drones waiting on you at those chain stores appear headed for the nearest ledge after work.)

* Christmas efforts deemed "marginal" or not enough are practiced by Starbucks, Toys 'R Us and Whole Foods. (Starbucks? Really? So, what are holiday pumpkin spice lattes? Chopped liver?)

* The best Xmas practitioners are apparently Macy's, Walmart, Sears and Lowes. (You know, the places you wouldn't be caught dead in during the holiday shopping season.)

(Wait a tic. Lowes?)

Seriously, walking a fine line between offending/not offending can spell success/doom for one's bottom line. The same article has the National Retail Federation predicting a 1 percent drop in holiday sales this year.

That would take it all the way down to $437.6 billion. Who can possibly experience a merry Christmas on that?
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