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31 Oct, 2019 08:00

‘PC’s becoming exhausting’: IKEA Denmark roasted for calling Christmas decorations collection ‘Winterfest’

‘PC’s becoming exhausting’: IKEA Denmark roasted for calling Christmas decorations collection ‘Winterfest’

IKEA has been blasted for using the neutral name ‘Winterfest’ for its collection of decorations that includes Christmas tree balls, advent calendars and toy Santas – but it denies bowing to political correctness.

Two months before Christmas, the Scandinavian retail giant has rolled out its new collection of decorative items. They include artificial wreaths, tiny fir trees, hanging baubles and, of course, quite a few toy Santas. But according to some people in Denmark, there is a problem with it. Namely, its name. The collection is called “Winterfest,” or more precisely “Vinterfest.”

Some believe using a neutral seasonal term instead of actually mentioning Christmas was a slight on IKEA’s part, a clumsy attempt to insulate itself from criticism from the political correctness crowd. The presumption is that the religious origin of the holiday would be offensive to non-Christians.

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One of the people accusing IKEA Denmark of pre-emptively appeasing a small vocal minority at the expense of its customer base is Peter Skaarup, the head of Denmark’s anti-immigrant conservative Danish People’s Party, which currently has the third-largest faction in parliament.

“While the vast majority of Danes are looking forward to celebrating the traditional Danish Christmas, IKEA has gone to decorate for a ‘Winterfest,’” he wrote on Facebook, adding that political correctness is becoming exhausting.

The retailer said it had no problems with Christmas and that the name of the collection was chosen for purely commercial reasons, not to further any social agenda.

“Four times a year we release a collection that is tied up to a season rather than a specific holiday,” IKEA Denmark spokesman Christian Mouroux explained, as quoted by the national broadcaster DR. “Now we are entering the season winter and we have created a product range that we think should be good for the entire period.”

He argued that it was no different to not naming a summer collection after St. John’s Eve. But Skaarup said he didn’t quite buy the explanation and couldn’t see why IKEA couldn’t “just call it what it is.”

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