This image above is popping up on social media, and many mistakenly believe it was taken this year.
Although this photograph and the policy it conveys are real, the sign wasn’t posted at a Nordstrom store in 2015. The image dates from 2009, when it was first published by The Consumerist. But even then, Nordstrom’s “Christmas after Thanksgiving” policy was old news, and web sites reporting in 2009 that the store had just “announced” a new policy about their Christmas decorating plans were mistaken.
In fact, Nordstrom’s policy dates back much further. Consider this story from The Baltimore Sun in 1992:
When area shoppers began flocking to Towson Town Center in September to check out the new kid on the block, they found a number of distinctive touches that set Nordstrom, the Seattle-based chain, off from other area retailers: the huge inventory of shoes, the foot massager in the ladies’ lounge, the coffee bar, the high level of personal service. And during Nordstrom’s first season here, they may have noticed one other way Nordstrom distinguishes itself from its competition: no Christmas decorations until after Thanksgiving. The Towson store, which was practically void of all Christmas-related items on Wednesday, opens today fully decorated for the holidays and ready for the biggest shopping day of the year, thanks to about 75 store employees who stayed after closing Wednesday night and decorated until the early morning hours. “No decorations before Thanksgiving — it’s a hallmark of Nordstrom,” said Lesa A. Sroufe, an analyst with Ragen nTC MacKenzie in Seattle. “They’re very high on tradition and they’re very high on trying to keep a high quality. Tradition is very important to the Nordstrom family, and they’d rather keep to tradition as opposed to thinking how to pump sales.” That, in turn, adds to Nordstrom’s image of being a class act, she said. Nordstrom says that while the policy may mean an all-out last-minute push by employees, it gives customers a chance to savor one holiday at a time. “I think it makes a difference to a lot of customers who really value Thanksgiving,” says Marty Wikstrom, Nordstrom vice president and general manager for the capital region. “The holiday shopping season is such a major shopping season for all retailers, they tend to start the season earlier and earlier . . . but we place a tremendous value on each holiday. Thanksgiving is the time for celebrating blessings together.”
Meantime, I was surprised, and a little annoyed, to be assaulted by Christmas music (and, of course, decorations) when shopping at Macy’s last night. Humbug.
Meantime, at the other end of the spectrum—from the sublime, way past ridiculous, straightaway into repugnant—check out how Bloomingdales is getting people primed for Christmas.
Nothing like date rape to put you in the holiday spirit, eh?