Nov 23, 2009
– Todd Wasserman
Best Buy stands by its decision to wish U.S. Muslims a Happy Eid Al-Adha, a rep for the company said, and though some Best Buy customers took offense, a Muslim advocacy group praised the move.
The retailer got some flak this week for including, along with its circular advertising Thanksgiving Day sales, a note saying “Happy Eid Al-Adha,” which refers to a holiday of sacrifice for followers of Islam on Nov. 27 this year. After TechCrunch ran an item about the circular, some claimed offense and said they’d take their business elsewhere. “I spent about $3,000 with . . . your store. I will be shopping somewhere else,” one consumer wrote on Best Buy’s Web forum. “BB has the Muslims covered with the ‘Happy Eid,’ but what about the rest of us Americans?” wrote another. “Do we get a ‘Happy Thanksgiving’?”
(The American Family Association, a Christian advocacy group, has singled out Best Buy for using “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas.” A Best Buy rep, however, didn’t agree with the claim, saying: “You will see more of Christmas in our holiday messaging. Christmas will be included in our insert and online. We have ‘Merry Christmas’ on our gift cards, too. In addition. we have developed the Christmas Morning simulator as an online interactive game.”)
Not everyone was dismissive. “Stop with the hatin’ and happy Eid,” wrote one TechCrunch commentor. “For every anti-BB post, I’m going to spend $1 there,” wrote another.
Best Buy rep Lisa Svac Hawks explained the thought behind the greeting: “Best Buy’s customers and employees around the world represent a variety
of faiths and denominations. We respect that diversity and choose to greet our customers and employees in ways that reflect their traditions,” she said.
Ahmed Rehab, a spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations, said he could not recall when any American retailer mentioned the holiday in its ads. “It makes perfect business sense to acknowledge and celebrate a holiday that one out of four people celebrate,” Rehab said.
Best Buy’s not the only retailer to be criticized for its holiday advertising this year. The AFA is calling for a boycott of Gap because the company has downplayed the word “Christmas” with a campaign that states: “Go Christmas, Go Hanukkah, Go Kwanzaa, Go Solstice,” and beckons consumers to “86 the rules.”