Retailers Brace for a Hard Candy Christmas

Dr. Munr Kazmir
4 min readNov 26, 2022

After a disappointing Black Friday, clouds are gathering over the 2022 holiday shopping season.

Photo by Dean Xavier on Unsplash.

This Thanksgiving, media outlets were full of ideas about how to stretch the family budget further this year. With everything families normally buy to celebrate the holiday season — including dinner traditions — adding up to so much more this year, any ideas might seem welcome.

It’s hard to imagine Americans trading butter for baby food on their traditional hot rolls, no matter that the former has risen in price faster than the latter, but some of the tips weren’t bad.

After all, a 26-story high-rise pork processing center opened in China yesterday, the first of its kind. Though animal agriculture experts are already warning about the increased risk of disease, more such “pig palaces” are likely to follow. Just imagine — 26 slaughterhouses, all stacked on top of each other.

Considering the non-sustainability of industrial animal agriculture on that scale, and on a planet playing host to nearly 8 billion people, cutting down on animal products as a cost-saving measure is an excellent idea — for financial, environmental, and health reasons.

The International Agency on Cancer Research has classified processed meats — including bacon — as a known carcinogen.

Now that Thanksgiving, whatever its inflated price tag, has come and gone, American consumers are turning their attention to the upcoming holiday season.

Several major world religions celebrate a wintertime holiday around the end of the year. Since Christmas and Hanukkah also happen to be gift-giving holidays, the holiday shopping season was born.

Over the years in post-Industrial America, the Christmas holiday shopping season gradually grew into the mall and online bonanzas we ardently love — or assiduously avoid — today. In the age of conspicuous consumerism —a brilliant marketing scheme if ever there was one, second perhaps only to virtue signaling — the holiday shopping season has grown into a mainstay of the retail industry.

Like yearly Christmas-time bonuses employees come to count on as part of their salary, retailers have come to depend on a big boost in sales at year’s end to help make up for any…