Retailers cash in on military service

It’s a fine line that businesses walk today when offering deals to veterans.

In Canada, where it’s Remembrance Day, one veteran has had his fill of some of the marketing, the CBC reports.

It started with an e-mail from the Gap, offering a “Remembrance Day Deal” — a $19.99 vest.

The recipient sent it to her brother, Cpl. Chuck Krangle, who told the CBC, “She was very concerned with the subject line and the intent behind it, which was kind of, let’s profit on Remembrance Day, let’s have a big sale because it’s Remembrance Day, so that was quite upsetting.”


The Gap has apologized.

There’s a big difference between the sensibilities of Canadians and Americans when it comes to the appropriate recognition of a day for veterans.

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Steve rose, at the blog Transitions, points out the difference in our cultures.

Unlike Canada, the U.S Veterans Day has been colonized by consumer culture. A simple Google search on ‘Veterans Day sales’ yields countless hits on this “early black Friday.” A site called entices consumers with a brand-tapestry of sale-items. The CEO of Starbucks criticized the treatment of Veterans on this day.

At an event for Veterans at The Washington Post, he stated that Veterans Day “has been turned into a weekend sale.” He adds: “We have to ask ourselves, what kind of nation are we? What kind of nation do we want to be?”

In Canada, this is not the case. We refuse not to allow the sacredness of this day from being overshadowed by market interests. This has been particularly evident in the backlash against Christmas decorations before Remembrance Day.

Also, in 2010 a U.S retailer started a weeklong Remembrance Day sale that was met with protests from Veterans and civilians alike. Lastly, do a Google search using the phrase ‘remembrance day sale’ and you will be met with a very different result. Top hits include news about the record-breaking poppy sales and more talk about how a “US Retailer Advertises Tacky ‘Remembrance Day Sale’ For Canadian Affiliates.”