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Many Retailers Retire Annual Columbus Day Sale

(Forbes) It seems as though the annual Columbus Day Sales promotion has finally run its course. Retailers have largely abandoned the event.

Once a profit generator for department stores and downtown shopping districts, the Columbus Day Sale has become a liability…

Many no longer celebrate Columbus as a skilled navigator and the discoverer of America.

The controversy behind Columbus Day is nothing new and has been brewing for several decades. But after a year that included calls for social reform, the removal of statues and monuments, and retail sales declines and closures, 2020 became the year to retire the Columbus Day Sale.

Last October, Belk, the Charlotte-based department store company, held its annual Columbus Day Sale but its sale circulars did not feature the promotion’s name in bold print. Belk has abandoned the annual event completely this year. At Belk, it’s now the “Feeling Fall Sale.”

By the late 1970s, the Columbus Day Sale transitioned from a clothing sale to a home improvement promotion. Home Depot, Lowe’s, Ashley Furniture, and many more home retailers advertised the Columbus Day Sale tradition up through, and including, 2019. But Home Depot and Lowe’s have retired the Columbus Day Sale for 2020.

However, “Rooms To Go” has elected to hold a Columbus Day Sale this year. The retailer operates over 150 furniture stores throughout the southeastern United States, Texas, and Puerto Rico.

Janis Altshuler, Senior Vice President at Rooms To Go, says, “Rooms To Go opted to keep Columbus Day as the name for the event because that is the federal name of the holiday and we wanted to avoid confusion. This certainly will be considered in the future and no decision has been made for 2021.”

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