A shopping centre has been forced to re-do their festive season display after customers were outraged by management’s decision to drop the word ‘Christmas‘ .
Santa’s Village at Pacific Werribee, southwest of Melbourne, instead had a sign above Santa’s chair saying: ‘Merry Everything’.
The exhibit has drawn sharp criticism from locals with some declaring they would not have their Santa photos taken at the popular shopping spot this year.
Management at Pacific Werribe have since bowed to pressure to have the display changed to ‘Merry Christmas’.
Shoppers have slammed Pacific Werribee shopping centre for dropping the word ‘Christmas’ from a Santa display
Pacific Werribee customers called the Santa display ‘ridiculous’ and ‘insulting’
‘Merry Everything’ is ridiculous. It’s Christmas!’ one angry customer said.
‘We don’t change names of other festivals so why come up with a silly slogan! It’s really offensive to those that celebrate it.’
‘I will not take my children for their Santa photos at your centre as I have done for many years,’ another said.
‘It is ‘Merry Christmas’ not Merry Everything! How insulting! I believe inclusion for all is extremely important for our society.
‘I am very happy to promote and celebrate all festivals and would never want anyone to feel they need to change the name of their festivals and celebrations. I just cannot understand why you would think it’s OK to change the name of a festival!’
‘I’ll be buying nothing from Pacific Werribee at CHRISTMAS,’ another shopper declared.
One disgruntled shopper said the display was ‘very disappointing’ and that she was glad to have left the area.
‘Multiculturism gone mad. I am so glad I have left Wyndham. Ballarat loves Xmas and embraces all cultures. Best move we ever made,’ they said.
Management at Pacific Werribe have since bowed to pressure to have the display changed to ‘Merry Christmas’
Pacific Werribee general manager Ryan Ling said the campaign was designed to encourage customers to do all their Christmas shopping at the centre.
‘Pacific Werribee’s ‘Merry Everything’ Christmas campaign is intended to showcase our incredible range of gift giving and festive offerings available at the Centre, so customers can shop ‘everything’ this holiday season all in the one place,’ he told news.com.au
‘In line with the campaign, we are committed to delivering a convenient shopping experience, with a focus on providing a one-stop-shop for customers’ festive needs’.
Mr Ling said the centre acknowledged that some customers had raised questions in relation to the campaign and ‘we have listened to their feedback’.
‘Our overriding objective is to create a vibrant and enjoyable shopping environment that meets the needs of our community, particularly in the lead-up to Christmas, which is why we made the decision to change our signage from ‘Merry Everything’ to ‘Merry Christmas,’ he said.
The ‘Merry Everything’ campaign was part of a wider movement from Queensland Investment Corporation, who owns Pacific Werribee.
The campaign started on November 2 and will run until Christmas Eve.