No More Christmas Presence?

August 1998


No More Christmas Presence?

One expert fears Yuletime decor has gone the way of the horse-drawn sleigh

Have retailers gotten too cool for yule? That was the question posed in a recent essay in Visual Merchandising and Store Designmagazine. Author Jerry Gelsomino laments that in recent years, holiday store decorations seem to have lost their spirit.

"If you walk through a shopping center these days, you might not even notice the holidays have arrived, except for the occasional 'Holiday Sale!' banner hanging in a shop window," he writes. "It is most prevalent in apparel, jewelry and shoe stores." The stores that bother at all often make no more than token efforts – tossing a garland over a fitting room mirror or putting up a poorly decorated tree, Gelsomino says.

He asked several retailing experts why this was so. One suggested it's part of an overall loss of tradition in our society. Another attributed it to ever-tighter budgets and the need for retailers to justify every expenditure with bottom-line gains.

Not that the Grinch has conquered all of retailer-land, the article points out. Major department stores still toast the holidays in their time-honored manner. Neiman Marcus makes a huge deal of Christmas, tying its decorations in with color schemes found in fashion. And in shopping malls, here and there, specialty stores go all out. Last season, for example, The Gap put up trees adorned with "doll-size replicas" of the clothes it was selling.


Copyright © 1998 by Bond Communications.


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