Wal-Mart Wishes All Merry Christmas

US retail giant Wal-Mart pledged to wish its shoppers “Merry Christmas” this year, after provoking ire from Christian activists a year ago for dropping festive greetings.
Wal-Mart said it would downplay the more generic US greeting of “Happy Holidays” this Yuletide and use “Christmas” promiscuously in a barrage of end-of-year publicity. “Whether in the aisles or on the air, online or on TV, Wal-Mart today announced that ‘Christmas’ and ‘value’ will dominate its US marketing and in-store initiatives throughout this year’s holiday season,” the world’s biggest store chain said in a statement.
US groups from the powerful religious right last year launched a boycott of Wal-Mart outlets after accusing the retailer of discriminating against the festival celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ. The Catholic League said last November that it had found 200 references to the Jewish festival of Hanukkah on Wal-Mart’s website, but that a search for “Christmas” redirected readers to the site’s “Holiday page”.
The League led the boycott after a woman who had e-mailed Wal-Mart to complain about the use of “Happy Holidays” was told that Christmas, among other things, “has its roots in Siberian shamanism”. Catholic League spokeswoman Kiera McCaffrey welcomed the change of heart for this Christmas season.
“It shows that Wal-Mart is listening to the public, listening to their shoppers,” she told AFP.
“America is an overwhelmingly Christian nation, and the vast majority of people who aren’t Christian have absolutely no problem with seeing people celebrating their holiday.” Wal-Mart spokeswoman Linda Blakley said the company had seen the error of its ways. “We, quite frankly, have learned a lesson from last year. We’re not afraid to use the term ‘Merry Christmas’. We’ll use it early, and we’ll use it often,” she told the USA Today newspaper.
Wal-Mart may have bowed to commercial imperatives in refusing to play the Grinch.
Its sales have slowed sharply in recent months due in part to a slowing US economy but also to a strategy of shifting to more chic retail lines in a bid to woo richer customers. The retail titan said a week ago its same-store sales across the United States rose by just 0.5 percent in October compared to the same month of 2005.
This year, it will rename the area of its stores reserved for Yuletide decorations from “The Holiday Shop” to “The Christmas Shop”. Santa Claus and “Merry Christmas” gift cards will be on prominent display. And Wal-Mart said its staff are encouraged “to greet customers utilizing various glad tidings inclusive of, but not limited to, Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, Happy Kwanzaa, Happy Hanukkah and Feliz Navidad, to name a few”.

1 Comment

  1. isn’t it amazing how people who are affended with christ and christmas do not have a problem being paid by their employers to take both christmas and good friday off. none of them say no thank you i’d rather work and be paid my normal wage for these days.

Comments are closed.

error: Content is protected !!