Radio silence advised for Anzac Day retail
Unlike Easter, Christmas, Labour Day and Queen’s Birthday, Anzac Day is the one public holiday retailers won’t take advantage of.
Biscuits and limited-edition tins are about as commercial as the day gets after past backlash.
New Zealand companies have chosen a number of ways to mark the event – many doing so with the approval of the Royal Returned and Services Association (RSA).
Countdown spokesman Keith Cowden-Brown said the only Anzac-related products the supermarket chain would be selling were RSA-approved Anzac biscuits and poppies.
Foodstuffs spokeswoman Catherine Reiss confirmed New World and Pak’n Save would not have any Anzac promotions.
Australian supermarket chain Woolworths was criticised in 2015 for asking customers to upload photographs of individuals affected by World War I to its ‘‘profile picture generator’’ that branded the image with the Woolworths logo and the tag ‘‘Lest We Forget Anzac 1915-2015 … Fresh in our memories’’.
Retail NZ general manager Greg Harford said that despite not labelling them as being related to Anzac Day, some retailers were running sales because many Kiwis take Monday off work to give themselves a four-day weekend.
‘‘Anzac Day itself is a public holiday and shops are allowed to open from 1pm,’’ he said.
‘‘Given that [today] is a public holiday, customers will be out and about and many will want to shop in the afternoon. That means that retailers have been promoting their sales and products, and that’s completely appropriate.
‘‘Most of the promotions I am aware of have been pretty generic and not especially tied to Anzac Day, unless there’s some specific reason for it – like some biscuit tins being sold which support the RSA.
‘‘In fact, the use of the word Anzac in any commercial context is illegal and carries a fine of up to $50,000. It is, however, acceptable to use the words ‘Anzac Day’ to refer to a sale or similar.’’
Senior marketing lecturer doctor John Guthrie said the day wasn’t a big deal for retailers because they would just extend their sales to Tuesday.
‘‘They don’t have a huge problem on their hands. Look at Briscoes: Their current ‘super deals, super super sale’ is deliberately inclusive of Anzac Day,’’ he said.
Shops can open on Anzac Day during limited hours, but should take care with their branding to avoid alienating shoppers.
This is as much Anzac branding as many consumers feel comfortable with.