Following up on yesterday’s rant about the awful holiday trim in many retail stores, here is equal time for a few stores who got it right. The top 3 in reverse order are:

#3: Aerie by American Eagle
With their heritage in plaid flannel (remember the OLD American Eagle?), AE did it right by using permanent pieces (trees and wreaths) made of plaid flannel strips supporting their “Comfort and Joy” theme. These permanent pieces of trim will work for years to come as they both respect the holiday traditions of trees and wreaths and will work for the brand no matter its annual holiday marketing message.

#2 Victoria’s Secret
It’s no surprise that Victoria’s Secret got this right. Any woman who knows VS products is well aware of the logo pink satin ribbon in its items. VS picked up on that signature icon by creating table top trees out of various pink ribbon (including some – but not all – VS logo ribbon) with matching table skirts. The pink ribbon instantly reinforces the brand with returning customers and evokes the ribbons on holiday gifts this time of year. Again, these pieces can be used year after year within the general kit of parts that VS rolls out and they will still support each year’s individual holiday messaging.

#1 Christopher & Banks
Say what you will about CB returning to its decorated holiday sweater heritage, Christopher and Banks knows its customers. Their experimentation with more trendy items over the past years alienated more customers than it won and they are returning to their standards: sweaters and tops that are colorful and friendly. From their tree in the window to the table top trees throughout the store, they reinforced their merchandise and their brand with small sweater ornaments on hanger/hooks. The sweater ornaments were available for sale as well, which fits in perfectly for their core customers or for women looking for a feminine touch on their home decorations. As a statement, these pieces reinforced their brand AND could be sold – a double bonus. For keeping their holiday theme aligned with their brand and making their customers smile, Christopher and Banks gets the win.

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