December 6, 2011, 9:42 AM

‘O Tannenbaum,’ e-commerce edition

Sears and Meijer offer home delivery of Christmas trees to online shoppers.

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Online retailers this holiday season are doing their part to save families from getting themselves lost in the great north woods while searching for oh-so-right Christmas trees.

Grocery and general merchandise retailer Meijer Inc., No. 319 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, said today that it is delivering fresh-cut Fraser fir Christmas trees to customers who order them online. Shoppers can go small with trees that are four-and-half-feet tall, or decide that the holidays are no time for modesty and buy trees that, at up to nine feet tall, might rub ceilings, at least with ornaments attached. Prices range from $89.95 to $199.99, though the chain says it has lowered prices through Dec. 16. Shipping costs at least $25, with deliveries taking place in five to 11 business days.

“More and more people today are converging online for their shopping needs,” says Liwanag Ojala, vice president of e-commerce for Meijer, which operates 197 stores in the Midwest and Kentucky. “Offering these holiday trees online is another example of how we are getting ahead of the curve.”

Meijer’s isn’t the only retail chain hoping to put those tree lots out of business. Sears Holdings Corp., No. 7 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, says it will sell Fraser firs online through Dec. 15. Sears says it will ship the trees for free, but what that really means, the retail chain explains, is that the cost of the FedEx ground service delivery is wrapped into the purchase cost of the trees. Trees will arrive within eight days, Sears says. The trees offered by Sears also range in height from four-and-half feet to nine feet, and come from the North Carolina mountains.

“At Sears, we understand that this time of year can be busy, but with a convenient, home-delivered tree, families can dedicate more time to enjoying the magic of the holiday season,” says James Alt, vice president of seasonal and outdoor living at Sears.

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