Service Design: Free Christmas Tree Delivery

December 30, 2020
Service Design: Free Christmas Tree Delivery

Christmas decorating got easier for some families in 2020, with free live Christmas tree delivery from Walmart, Home Depot and Lowe’s. In addition, Walmart offered exterior holiday light installation services.

Retailers provided these additional services to help customers enjoy their holiday traditions and to relieve some of the stress caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.


Video Spotlight: 


This post is based on The Business Journals article, Big box retailers offer free Christmas tree delivery, by Ann Stych, November 20, 2020, and the YouTube video in the Spotlight. Image source: Shutterstock / Smileus

Discussion Questions:

1. What factors caused retailers such as Walmart, Home Depot, and Lowe’s to offer Christmas decorating services?

Guidance: Economic and social factors are key considerations for Walmart, Home Depot, and Lowe’s to provide free live Christmas tree delivery service.  With the restriction and stress of COVID-19, it makes economic and social sense to offer free delivery of Christmas tree purchases and light installation services to make it easier for customers to enjoy their holiday traditions, have something to look forward to and cheer themselves up.

2.  What kind of inventory management model is appropriate for Walmart to determine the order quantity for live Christmas trees?

Guidance: Live Christmas trees are perishables, and their usefulness is limited to the holiday season. The single-period model is appropriate for Walmart to determine the order quantity of live trees that will minimize the long-run excess and shortage costs.

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