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Macy’s Spreads Holiday Cheer Despite COVID-19

Published on November 11, 2020, at 6:20 p.m.
by Caroline Ladd.

One of the most well-known stores during the holidays is Macy’s. It begins with its Thanksgiving Day Parade, then moves onto its Santa visits, window displays, city Christmas lightings and shopping deals. With COVID-19, it has to rethink all of its holiday traditions in order to be considerate of the safety and well-being of its customers.

With roughly 3.5 million in-person attendants and 50 million televisions streaming it across the United States, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is one of the most well-known traditions on Thanksgiving Day.

Photo by Carson Masterson on Unsplash

This year, Macy’s is adapting to the CDC COVID-19 guidelines in order to keep the tradition going. This celebrated parade will be completely televised this year with no actual spectators in the crowd. Macy’s is filming the parade over a course of two days to be shown to millions of families across the country on Thanksgiving Day. The company has five vehicles that have been approved by the NYC Department of Transportation and NYC Police Department to transport the parade’s signature balloons throughout the parade route.

Another tradition that Macy’s is well-known for is Santaland. Every year thousands of families line up in the Macy’s stores, each family filled with excitement to meet Santa Claus. This year, at Macy’s in New York, Chicago and San Francisco, there will not be an in-person Santa to meet.

This tradition has never been canceled before, not even during the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic. Instead, Macy’s has created an experience named ’Santaland at Home.’ This free, virtual experience is around for almost a month starting on Nov. 27 and lasting until Dec. 24. It was created with hopes of giving families that same excitement, despite holidays looking different this year.

However, one beloved Macy’s tradition in its Chicago store is The Walnut Room, which is set to still take place this holiday season. The holiday tree attraction is open from Nov. 7 until Jan. 3. This year’s families will be required to make a reservation and have a pre-fixed meal to enjoy while sitting around the Great Tree, socially distanced of course. Macy’s is also offering a takeout option for families who don’t feel comfortable but still want to enjoy this beloved tradition.

While COVID-19 has been a struggle for many retail businesses throughout 2020, Macy’s has figured out a way to keep the holiday spirit high through these unprecedented times. It will be nice to still be able to enjoy these traditions and feel a bit of normalcy during this time of year.

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