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Peter, Paul, and Mary ask: “Where have all the Santas gone?”

Chris Walton and Omni Talk (click here to subscribe) satirically send up retail by asking, “Where have all the Santas gone?” to the tune of Peter, Paul, and Mary. One of my fondest memories of my father was when he took me to my first concert at the age of 8 or 9 to see Peter, Paul, and Mary. Yes, you heard that right it. My first concert was not Michael Jackson or something else cool.

It was Peter, Paul, and Mary.

And I will never forget it.

Mary Travers not only put her hands over my ears backstage that night, as she said, “bullshit,” to an eager concert goer’s politically motivated post-concert question outside Gammage Auditorium in Tempe, AZ, but she also introduced me to one of my all-time favorite songs earlier in the evening — Where Have All the Flowers Gone?

Where Have All the Flowers Gone? was originally penned in 1955 by Pete Seeger, and then in 1962 Peter, Paul, and Mary included their rendition of the song on their debut album (source: Wikipedia). The song is lyrically beautiful, and, so today, I satirically rewrite it in part homage and in part tough love for our once proud industry.

Where Have All the Santas Gone?

Where have all the Santas gone, long time passing?

Where have all the Santas gone, long time ago?

Where have all the Santas gone?

Big boxes replaced them every one.

Oh, when will they ever learn?

Oh, when will they ever learn?

 

Where have all the employees gone, long time passing?

Where have all the employees gone, long time ago?

Where have all the employees gone?

Gone to drive Ubers every one.

Oh, when will they ever learn?

Oh, when will they ever learn?

 

Where have all the customers gone, long time passing?

Where have all the customers gone, long time ago?

Where have all the customers gone?

Gone to Amazon, every one

Oh, when will they ever learn?

Oh, when will they ever learn?

 

Where have all the retailers gone, long time passing?

Where have all the retailers gone, long time ago?

Where have all the retailers gone?

Gone to bankruptcy every one.

Oh, when will they ever learn?

Oh, when will they ever learn?

 

Where have all the bankruptcies gone, long time passing?

Where have all the bankruptcies gone, long time ago?

Where have all the bankruptcies gone?

No more Santas, not a single one.

 

Oh, when will we ever learn?

Oh, when will we ever learn?

 

Be careful out there,

Chris

P.S. While the above Peter, Paul, and Mary cover is meant to be pointed (i.e. we make the future we want), this week is still my favorite retail week of the entire year.

The above is a salute and thank you to all the men and women working long hours both out in stores and overseeing websites this week. Every single one of them is dedicated to his or her job and every one of them also has to balance this dedication alongside a commitment to his or her family over Thanksgiving as well.

It is a delicate balancing act that is by no means an easy feat. Yet, they all do it because they love retail, and they deserve our utmost support and appreciation.

Let’s show our support for them this weekend. Let’s get out and EXPERIENCE retail as it was meant to be experienced, as a place to create the lasting memories and delight of being out somewhere with our families.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Chris Walton View All

<p>Chris Walton is an accomplished Senior Executive with nearly 20 years of success within the retail and retail technology industries. He is well-versed in merchandising, store operations, inventory management, product design, forecasting, e-commerce, pricing and promotions, and tech product development.</p>
<p>Chris was most recently a Vice President with Target, where he led the retailer’s Store of the Future project and also ran the Target’s home furnishing division for e-commerce. He previously worked for GAP, Inc., as a Distribution Analyst and Manager.</p>
<p>Chris holds a BA in Economics and History from Stanford University, and a MBA from Harvard Business School.</p>
<p>He likes to dress as Darth Vader for Halloween, and his wife also frequently asks him to ask Alexa, “to turn off the music.”</p>

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