Christmas Tree Preference Evolving

By: Stan Torgerson
By: Stan Torgerson

One of the biggest changes for the Christmas season this year is not the presents, but the trees.

How often these days do you see a fresh Christmas tree going to someone's home on the top of their car? Not nearly as often as you see a box in the trunk that says “Christmas tree, made in China."

Rodney Walker, manager at the Meridian Wal-Mart Supercenter, says the artificial tree has captured the market.

"Ours in general now is artificial trees. Everybody's going about 50 to one over the live trees. We bought around 900 to 1,000 artificial trees just for the month of November," said manager Rodney Walker. "December we'll get in another 1,000 to 2,000 compared to 200 live trees.

"I don't know if it's the convenience. Most of them are going with the pre-lit trees for the convenience factor. I think nowadays everyone wants something they can get up quick," said Walker.

Prices have been slashed on fresh trees in an effort to compete. The Wal-Mart manager says last year live tree prices started at $22. This year it's $14. That's substantially below the trees in boxes, but they are also reusable.

Prices range from $39.83 to $149.94, depending on the height and features, such as the number of lights. Wal-Mart's premium pre-lit artificial tree is nine feet tall with 2,000 bulbs already on it.

Does this mean we may see the day when fresh trees are not sold at all? Some day, perhaps, but not yet.

"What our customers ask for, we're going to always have. As long as they're asking for it we'll always carry it, but it is to the point of we're selling a lot more of the artificial, so we'll stay with that. They're the dominant tree."

You can always spray pine scent on them and pretend they're real.


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