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Loyal Christmas to all, and to all ….

“Now Dasher! now, Dancer! now, Prancer and Vixen!
On, Comet! On, Cupid! on, on Donner and Blitzen!
To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!
Now dash away! Dash away! Dash away all!”

Amid the hustle and bustle of Christmas shopping “teamwork” is a word that may not come springing easily to the tongue.

… Unless, of course, you and a friend decide to go two-on-one to confound some poor schmuck trying to get one of the last two Bigfoot Monster Toys on the shelf at Macy’s.

(Now, the scenario might seem a bit outdated. These days, the hustle and bustle often means little more than waiting an extra nanosecond or two for your Amazon.com purchase confirmation to come through.)

But teamwork IS emerging this Christmas season, and from a source far removed from Santa’s sleigh: The corporate offices of some of America’s biggest in-store retailers. After a dismally long period of sluggish sales, retailers are rolling out bonuses for repeat customers, hoping to increase in-store traffic.

One Christian retailer teamed its loyalty merchandising with religious-education targeting – a move she says has boosted sales and increase traffic. Kitty Jones’ Spirit & Life is now distributing the Christian Bookstore Coin – a shiny gold coin imprinted with “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, today and forever” (Heb. 13:8) on one side and “$1 off in trade” on the other.

Bringing back customers again and again this holiday season is the lifeblood of retailers of all shapes and sizes. Successful retailers are using their customer loyalty programs to deliver targeted rewards and incentives that increase store traffic. These programs only attract new customers, but also turn the retailers existing customer base into “ideal customers” who have the purchasing habits that will drive topline growth. Among the most attractive incentives this holiday season:

  • Toys R Us tripled its Reward R Us program, with 10% rebate on in-store and online purchases through Christmas Eve.
  • Target upped its RED card program ante to 5%.
  • GameStop Corp unveiled its Power Up Rewards program – its first.
  • And in the U.K. Tesco and Morrisons have launched Christmas campaigns that will save shoppers an estimated 1.3 billion pounds in price cuts, deals and loyalty rewards, including some two-fers.

So, if your Christmas plans don’t call for being dressed all in fur, from your head to your foot …

If your clothes are all tarnished with ashes and soot.

Consider the bundle of toys retailers are flinging on your back:

After all …

They’re just simple peddlers, digging deep in their packs.

Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!


Sallie Burnett
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