Gap will soon be wishing its customer a Merry Christmas. The clothing retailer, which also heads up Old Navy, will start abandoning its “Happy Holidays” approach to the winter season by having “Merry Christmas” messages in its advertisements. The change is considered to be a major victory for the American Family Association, who has been coordinating a grassroots e-mail campaign for eight years that targets retailers who use “Happy Holidays” messages.
The change in policy for Gap and Old Navy stores was confirmed in a statement by Bill Chandler, Gap Inc.’s vice-president for global corporate affairs. As a global retailer, we embrace the diversity of our customers and respect a variety of traditions and faith during the holidays, including Christmas,” wrote Chandler. Starting today, every Gap Outlet window will have signs that say “Merry Christmas” along with Christmas trees and wreaths throughout their stores.”
The change was also include a “special Christmas-themed event” in all Old Navy stores during the middle of December, as well as advertising and selling Christmas products. American Family Association President Tim Wildmon said that 80 percent of retailers abandoned Christmas messages for more generic holiday ones, accusing companies of waging “a war on Christmas” for the sake of political correctness.
“AFA began working with GAP Inc. about five years ago when it adamantly refused to use the term ‘Christmas’ in any of its seasonal advertising,” said Wildmon in an e-mail to AFA members. “For that reason, AFA asked you to boycott Gap stores during the Christmas shopping season last year. Your efforts have paid off.”