It’s that time of year when classic Christmas movies seem to run non-stop on cable television. And we have to confess that we kind of like it. One of our favorites goes all the way back to 1947. And in addition to the conventional storyline about a little girl who rediscovers the meaning of Christmas, Miracle on 34th Street introduced a rather radical approach to doing retail business.
Remember how the mysterious Kris Kringle sends a customer to Macy’s archrival, Gimbals, to make a purchase, telling the startled customer that Gimbals has better skates? The store manager is horrified, but what happens next really knocks his socks off. The customer—who has just been advised to make a purchase at a competitor’s store—tells the Macy’s manager that she is now a Macy’s customer for life!