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Woody is back, but with more swag

Dartmouth mall opens merch store for Woody the Talking Christmas Tree

4 min read
Two workers dressed in their Santa helper aprons smile at the camera behind the cash desk at the Woody store. Woody the Talking Christmas Tree posters hang on the wall behind them.
caption Danielle Ricketts and Maddie Fertile's first day working at the new Woody Store was Nov. 18.
Molly MacNaughton

All day long, families swarmed in and out of the new Woody store to buy their Woody-inspired goods while quantities lasted during Mic Mac Mall’s annual Wake Up Woody event. 

“It’s definitely what the people wanted,” said Mic Mac Mall’s guest services supervisor, Tia Hathaway.

Last year, the mall gave away Woody-inspired promotional merchandise as a thank you for coming to see Woody. People wanted more, said Hathaway. That’s when mall management came up with the idea to create a store. 

“We get to spend a ton of money (on merch) and also give away to charity and ultimately not pay anything in rent. My darling, I got to say this is truly a win, win, win,” says general manager of the mall, Lisa Flux. All proceeds go to the IWK Foundation.

As of Monday, the store had already sold out of some sizes of clothing, Hathaway said. The store sells shirts in extra small to two-XL and some in three-XL. They also have youth and toddler sizes.

“We kind of just want to give people something to remember and have his gifts since you can’t really take Woody home,” says employee Danielle Ricketts. “It’s busy, which is great.”

A woman carrying a young girl dressed in a Santa outfit stands in front of the new Woody merchandise store. A woman stands in front of the glass doors with a table full of Timbit boxes to hand out individual Timbits to customers as they leave and/or enter the store.
caption The store is open until Dec. 24.
Molly MacNaughton

Saturday was Ricketts’ first day of work. She helps run the new shop beside the customer service desk on the first floor.

“We move around. So, there’s a Santa set, we have Santa people, we have the Woody people and then we have the store here,” she said. “The Woody store is my position right now.”

During the grand opening, workers served Timbits and handed out Woody tattoos to customers just outside the store. When the doors finally opened just before 11 a.m., people flooded in, buying T-shirts, toques, magnets and more.

“We need Woody bibs. We need Woody sippies. As we’re sitting here we’ve got a list as long as our left arm,” says Flux.

Flux and Hathaway say they’re still bringing in more merchandise. On Monday they received mugs. On Tuesday they received Woody inspired Christmas tree air fresheners that smell like pine. “That was my — I don’t want to say genius — but I’m pretty excited about it,” says Flux.

She says they’ve been sending swag to their colleagues across North America. They even sent merch to Jimmy Fallon, who in 2021 poked fun at the talking Christmas tree. Unfortunately the package was returned. 

“Our goal, really, is for Jimmy Fallon to put on a Woody T-shirt or a Woody hat or something,” says Hathaway.

Red crew necks, red hats and grey sweaters with Woody the Talking Christmas Tree logo on the front. a basket full of Woody the Talking Christmas Tree magnets.
caption Ricketts says the T-shirts are the most popular. “The magnets are going like crazy as well,” she says.
Molly MacNaughton

Woody ball caps and Woody joggers are just some of the many items the store will soon sell. 

“It looks really interesting. The swag looks good,” says Irene Ma. She’s here with her family. They’re wearing matching Santa Claus PJs. 

“We have known Woody for years and we wanted to see him wake up today.” Ma’s been going to see Woody with her family since his resurrection in November 2021. She’s visited the tree every single year since she was a kid. 

Woody was a Christmas tree icon at the mall back in the 1980s until his retirement in 2006. He was eventually revived in 2021 with a brand new facelift.

A young child with pigtails in her hair kneels on the floor in between her mom and father. They are matching in Santa Claus PJs
caption Irene Ma, with her daughter Nara and husband Thomas, took pictures with Santa Claus in their matching outfits before they visited the new Woody store.
Molly MacNaughton

“Ultimately we did it for the community,” says Hathaway, talking about the reason behind opening the shop. “We know how important it is to help raise funds for the hospital, the children’s hospital.”

“It’s been a ton of work but a labour of love,” says Flux.

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About the author

Molly MacNaughton

Molly is originally from Digby, N.S. She's in her fourth year of the BJH program. She once covered a story about a murder; a murder of crows...

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