Because retailers plan their Christmas offerings so far in advance, most were too far along with trendy or ostentatious Christmas merchandise to change course last year, reports the Associated Press. This year they’re prepared to pursue the fiscally conservative consumer, which means everyone is selling the holiday decor equivalent of comfort food.
That means shoppers will see more gingerbread houses and peppermint crunch cookies, and fewer exotic teas and flavored olive oils; classic ball ornaments instead of offbeat cowboys or cartoon-themed character figures; and an emphasis on simple festive wear like shimmery tops instead of elaborately beaded gowns.
Traditional Christmas colors — red, green and gold — are also back.
That’s a big departure from recent years when stores pushed the whimsical and splashy, from the upside-down Christmas tree fad in 2007 to stockings adorned with mermaids and elephants.
Business Week notes that Saks Fifth Avenue is offering an in-house line of cheaper Christmas ornaments to lure in customers who can’t afford the crazy expensive Christopher Radko ones, and Home Shopping Network is pushing modest indoor decorations instead of inflatable lawn crap.
If this is what a recession does to one of the tackier holidays of the year, then thank you recession, here’s a candy cane.
“Recession-stung stores plan old-fashioned holidays” [Associated Press via Business Week]