Hanukkah lost in holiday rush
Get a practically free Whopper at Burger King by going to McDonald’s. Wait, what? Anyone who opens the Burger King mobile app within 600 feet of a McDonald’s restaurant will be able to order a Whopper sandwich for a penny through Dec. 12.
The app will be able to tell whether users are in one of the geofenced areas around 14,000 McDonald’s restaurants nationwide. Then, the app will magically unlock the penny promo and detour you to the closest Burger King for pick up.
Go to BK.com to download the free app.
— Doreen Christensen
When she left Montana for college in Minneapolis, Avital Barnea knew she’d join a Jewish community larger than the 30 families that sustained her hometown synagogue in the Montana city of Billings. She also hoped that once Hanukkah came around, she’d have options to shop for holiday decorations and gifts that went beyond the cards and menorahs sold at her temple’s tiny gift shop.
At a Target near the University of Minnesota, she asked where she could find Hanukkah cards and wrapping paper. No one knew.
“They were taking me around the store, saying, ‘Maybe it’s here, maybe it’s there,’ ” Barnea said. “They couldn’t find it.”
Many Americans shopping for Hanukkah goods each year are hard-pressed to find enough trinkets to last just one. That is especially true for Jews who don’t live near stores that sell Jewish ceremonial art, also known as Judaica, and who rely on major retailers or online stores for those items. Despite being flush with Christmas decor the moment Halloween ends, most retailers only stock a few shelves of Hanukkah goods.
Retail analysts and shoppers have their theories: Retailers know they won’t see huge profits from Hanukkah sales, so they have little incentive to stock up. In the United States, merchants typically debut holiday wares all at once. The Jewish population in America is also more geographically widespread than in decades past, making it harder for stores to focus inventory in specific neighborhoods.
But there is progress. This year marks the first time Target has stocked Hanukkah merchandise in all of its 1,850 locations nationwide. The company looks at sales data and gathers input from store managers and shoppers to pinpoint what inventory would work best at each shop, Target revealed.