CINCINNATI (TDB) -- Eat your heart out Mr. Grinch. Wal-Mart says it plans to stay in holiday mode through Jan. 6 because Hispanics celebrate the holidays until that date. No mention of partridges or 12 maids a milking. Cynics may wonder: Is this really to celebrate Hispanic culture or more crass commercialization?
The discount retail giant says it is launching a "Hispanic-themed holiday campaign" that will emphasize Three Kings Day at select stores. That's the date when Bible says the three wise men arrived in Bethlehem and presented gifts to the Christ child. A Wal-Mart official says people can shop for gifts and the stores will "offer unique buying experiences that demonstrate Wal-Mart's support of the Hispanic community."
Agnostics, however, might suspect that the retail giant wants to milk a few more bucks out of the Christmas shopping season, which used to start around Thanksgiving and run through Dec. 24. This looks like Wal-Mart wants the Yuletide to run right on through Christmas. The company says Hispanics have long celebrated Three Kings Day by exchanging gifts, and that the custom should be honored. Said Gisel Ruiz, Wal-Mart's vice president and regional manager in West Texas and New Mexico:
"The Three Kings holiday is a magical time for Hispanic children no matter what country they are from. We are pleased to be able to bring these special Hispanic traditions to more and more families, allowing them to save money and live better each holiday season."
Wal-Mart's presser is here. Any other holidays that can be put on the calendar as retail opportunities?