At Macy's flagship store on 34th Street in New York City, a chance to sit on Santa's lap is by appointment only this year, for the first time ever. Starting Monday, families can go online to sign up for a time slot from 30 minutes to five days in advance. Admission is free to Santaland Herald Square and runs from the day after Thanksgiving through Christmas Eve. Macy's says the new arrangement is intended to cut down on wait times and make it easier for all to Santa Claus. Families can cancel a reservation and make a new one at any time.
Total Retail's Take: Macy's seems to be getting some criticism for this decision, but I think it's a good idea. An online scheduling system can help streamline the process, lessening wait times for impatient children (and their parents!). As a parent of three kids that believe in Santa, I'm all for a system that makes it easier for me to get them to see Santa this holiday season. Furthermore, visitors to the store will be able to sign up via kiosks in-store, so it doesn't require you to have an appointment before you get to the store. And I'm sure it's not lost on Macy's execs that the less time people are standing in line waiting to meet Santa, the more time they can spend shopping the store. I think Macy's is on to something with this idea.