Belk on Dec. 1 unveiled virtual holiday activities, including free phone calls from Santa Claus, an online holiday home decorating contest and gift cards for select shoppers covering the value of their order when they use free in-store or curbside pickup.
As part of its debut Holidays at Home contest, the retailer asked consumers to share photos or videos of their holiday decorations on Facebook or Instagram and use the hashtag #BelkHolidaysAtHome2020. The retailer will announce winners on Dec. 16 and award gift cards valued at $500, $250 and $100, respectively, to the first, second and third prize winners, according to the company announcement.
The retailer partnered with PackagefromSanta.com to provide one child per customer with a direct phone call with Santa through Dec. 18, per the company announcement.
Now that consumers are changing the way they celebrate the holidays, the retailer wanted to rethink its traditions in order to connect safely, Belk CEO Lisa Harper, said in a statement.
As consumers adjust to an unusual year, Belk has made changes to prepare for the future and further pivot during the COVID-19 pandemic. The retailer said in January that it has begun using artificial intelligence to better manage its inventory. Ahead of the holiday season, the retailer introduced same-day shipping with the help of personal shoppers, and earlier in the year the retailer launched free contactless curbside pickup.
Belk joins other retailers like Nordstrom, T.J. Maxx, HomeGoods and Marshalls that have launched digital holiday-related initiatives. Though the holidays are here, the coronavirus pandemic has upended in-store shopping and the economy, which has forced retailers to recreate holiday cheer from a distance.