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Holiday traditions prove to be more important during recession

16
Nov '09
When it comes to celebrating the Holidays, Americans have always relied on traditions to make the season special. From baking cookies, to singing Christmas carols, to decorating the tree, families draw on festivities to not only make memories, but also as a way to have fun and stay connected. This year they are putting traditions at the top of their list of "must haves." In fact, a new consumer survey, commissioned by Sears, reveals that during challenging economic times, 90 percent of Americans become more focused on celebrating family traditions as well as creating new ones.

"This Holiday season more than ever, Americans are getting creative with how they will make the most of their Holiday celebrations with everything from adopting new traditions to altering the way they shop," said Don Hamblen, vice president and chief marketing officer for Sears. "Our company is known for its long-standing traditions so we understand just how important traditions are to families. Whether it's putting a twist on an old favorite with the new interactive, online version of the Sears Wish Book, or something entirely new, Sears continues to look for ways to bring value to our customers this Holiday season by helping them create and keep family traditions."

According to the survey, 18 percent of Americans plan to develop new traditions such as using a grab bag or secret Santa approach to gift giving, 25 percent are buying an artificial tree rather than a real one, 43 percent are asking their guests to bring food to the festivities so costs are shared and 63 percent are setting spending limits on gift giving. While many will give fewer gifts to friends and family, and send e-cards instead of paper cards, 80 percent of Americans admit that celebrating the Holidays without traditions would be worse than a Holiday without gifts.

Black Friday, another long-time shopping tradition is made easier this year with Sears' "Black Friday Now!" doorbusters - providing earlier savings on everything from home electronics and housewares to jewelry and apparel - on each of the Saturdays leading up to Christmas. Sears also offers layaway, which is available, both in-store and online, enabling customers to reserve Holiday gifts, including "Black Friday Now!" doorbusters, pay for them over time and pick them up right before the Holidays.

ShopYourWay serves to change traditional Holiday shopping altogether by giving customers a wide variety of new, convenient ways to shop. Sears ShopYourWay offers personalized and convenient shopping options which allows for shopping to revolve around the customer 24/7. With convenient options such as Web2Store and Sears' Personal Shopper, customers can get what they want, when they want and how they want it when they shop in-store or online.

The Sears Holiday Traditions Survey was conducted by Kelton Research between Oct. 16, 2009 and Oct. 22, 2009 using an email invitation and an online survey. Quotas are


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