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Even as American Family Association Sees Negative Trend, New Stores Top ‘Naughty or Nice’ List for Christmas

Tuesday, December 22, 2015 @ 10:11 AM

TUPELO, Miss.—Now that the Christmas shopping season is in its last week, companies are extending store hours and advertising more than any other time of the year. Why? They want customers to do their last-minute Christmas shopping with them.

But there are those who have been good this Christmas, and those who have been … well, on the naughty list.

For the past decade, American Family Association (AFA, www.afa.net) has been educating shoppers about the retailers that embrace Christmas through its annual “Naughty or Nice” list—and standing firm on the “War on Christmas.” The ranking of the top national retailers also informs shoppers of stores that act like “Scrooge” when it comes to Christmas-friendly marketing by reviewing retailer websites, media advertising and in-store signage.

“Year after year, we see that the AFA ‘Naughty or Nice’ list makes impact,” said AFA President Tim Wildmon. “For example, companies that used to refuse to acknowledge Christmas now have Christmas ‘shops’ inside their stores. And many of them now liberally use ‘Christmas’ in their advertising and in-store signage. But sadly, there are still some companies that refuse to use ‘Christmas’ in their promotions. They continue to insult and offend Christian shoppers by sticking with their politically correct ‘holiday’ term. So this year, while we’re glad to welcome some new retailers to the ‘Nice’ list, some have moved down the ranks to the ‘Naughty’ list.”

The 2015 “Naughty or Nice” list educates shoppers about the “extra nice” five-star retailers; new for this year are Cracker Barrel, Kirkland’s and Michael’s Stores, and remaining on the five-star “Nice” list: Hobby Lobby, Lowe’s and Wal-Mart.

In the “not so nice” category is Gap/Old Navy. After embracing Christmas the past two years, the chain has resorted to its old ways of political correctness, earning a move to the “Naughty” list for 2015. Making the same drastic move is the popular online retailer Amazon.com.

AFA rates the retailers on the “Naughty or Nice” list in four categories. AFA’s “5-Star” retailers promote and celebrate Christmas on an exceptional basis. “Nice” retailers use the term “Christmas” on a regular basis and are considered “Christmas-friendly.” The “Nice” list includes 40-plus retailers, from Ace Hardware to Zappos.com—and everything in between, such as Bass Pro Shops, Bed Bath & Beyond, Cabela’s, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Dillard’s, Dollar Tree, Hallmark, Home Depot, J.C. Penney, Kmart, Kohl’s, Macy’s, Marshall’s, Pier One Imports, ProFlowers.com, Sears, Target, TJ Maxx and Toys R Us, among others.

As a note, AFA does not list local or regional companies. Only nationally recognized companies are listed. The list only reflects a company’s “Christmas” advertising and does not take into account other corporate policies with which AFA may not agree.

Fourteen retailers this year made the “Marginal” list, meaning these companies refer to Christmas infrequently or only in select advertising mediums.

Another 17 retailers on the “Naughty” list may use “Christmas” sparingly in a single or unique product description, but as companies, do not recognize it. These include: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Dollar General, Family Dollar, Foot Locker, Gap, Inc., Hancock Fabrics, The Limited, Maurice’s, Nordstrom, Office Depot, Office Max, PetSmart, Staples, Stein Mart, Supervalu and Victoria’s Secret.

This year, AFA is encouraging visitors to the site to take action and contact the retailers on the “Naughty” list. By clicking on most names on the list, consumers can encourage these companies to keep Christ in Christmas via social media, email or web site.

Shoppers can also send AFA suggestions for “Nice” or “Naughty” stores to be added to the list by emailing christmas@afa.net.

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