Debate surrounding the so-called "War on Christmas" is generally confined to fights and legal disputes over nativities and other holiday displays, but there's an increasingly large chorus of individuals who see a very different battle worth fighting — against retailers.
Like clockwork, it seems as though companies promise more aggressive Black Friday and "door-buster" sales earlier and earlier each year, with some accusing stores of destroying — or, at the least, cheapening — the reason for the season.
Those frustrations aside, many are also frustrated over the prospect of individuals who work at these stores being unable to spend quality holiday time with their families. So, with many chains preparing to open on Thanksgiving this year, some are taking a different approach.
Consider the "Bring Back the Holidays" campaign that was recently launched by T.J.Maxx, Marshalls and HomeGoods — an effort to celebrate "values that make the season truly special."
See one of the commercials from the campaign below:
In addition to spreading some holiday cheer, the three chains, which are owned by TJX Companies, have helped raise money for more than 130 food banks across America, with enough cash on hand to dole out $2 million to help feed the poor, according to a press release.
The overall goal of the "Bring Back the Holidays" campaign is to ensure that "the four-letter word that defines the season is L-O-V-E and not S-A-L-E," as the stores seek to shore up support with eye-catching commercials that focus on family and holiday joy, not simply sales.
"There are few moments throughout the year when family and friends are in the same place at the same time, and we want people to put value on what really matters during the holidays … these special times together," Gina Bollus, a spokesperson for T.J.Maxx, Marshalls and HomeGoods," said in a statement. "Our stores offer thoughtful gifts at amazing prices every day so that you can cherish that precious time with your family and friends and shop on your time, instead of rushing out for the short-lived holiday deal."
See another ad below:
Keeping in line with those values, T.J.Maxx, Marshalls and HomeGoods locations will be closed on Thanksgiving in an effort to allow staff to spend time with their families.
"Family time comes first," a narrator proclaims in commercials for each store. "Let's put more value on what really matters."
Other stores like Apple, Pier 1 Imports and Barnes & Noble will also be closed, according to the Christian Science Monitor.
It's a strategy that runs counter to other chains that are promising big Christmas sales if people essentially skip Thanksgiving dinner or get up at the early hours to scour stores for good deals.
While some stores might simply be trying to bring good cheer to staff or even drum up some positive publicity by remaining closed on Thanksgiving, there do appear to be some other factors worth considering.
The National Retail Federation said that early Black Friday efforts have actually led to increased costs as well as an 11 percent drop in weekend sales following Thanksgiving — something that could lead businesses back to the drawing board when it comes to sales planning, the Christian Science Monitor reported.
Regardless of the motivation, it's likely that many will welcome a greater appreciation for Thanksgiving by some companies this year.
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