Retail E-vironment provides suppliers and retailers with a range of products and services to assist them to achieve greater retail performance.
Their flagship program achieving retail potential (ARP) provides all the necessary tools to refine their business operations and implement disciplined processes and retail management training.
Christmas trading period should evoke planning and preparation for store owners/managers. Retailers should be well on the way to preparing for their peak trading period.
Christmas trading plans need to be developed well in advance to maximise the sales opportunities that are available to them through this period.
For retailers, Christmas is the time of the year where they invest heavily in stock, hoping for a rapid spike in December sales to convert this investment into sales dollars. These sales are essential to carry the business through the first part of 2008, traditionally quieter sales months.
Buyers should already have a good idea of what part of their range will be hot sellers this period.
Sales negotiations with suppliers should be in place to ensure orders can be supplied to your outlets in time.
If you are part of a chain, you probably already have a list of tasks to accomplish in preparation for the holiday shopping blitz. Stick to these plans. It can mean the difference between a good season, and a great one.
Regardless if you are a single store, or part of the large retail chain, retail e-v has a range of retail management programs that can assist you to plan and prepare for this period.
Here are a few suggestions that may help you to drive some extra sales dollars:
- Design Christmas sales budget. Take into account the quiet periods in the New Year. Know your budget and stick to it as overspend can be a killer
- Start hiring and training the full time and casual staff now. Product knowledge and store operations/policies are essential to fast, accurate sales with the minimal complaints
- Understand your marketing and promotions for the period. Work out your sales message and product range and promote this heavily. It will be a disaster trying to sell last years products in the New Year
- Design your store so that it can be merchandised quickly and easily. Have ample stock within arms reach. You do not have time to re-build ‘Decorative’ displays when people just want to buy. Stack it high and watch it fly – makes it easy for customers to purchase, and store employees to merchandise
- Plan your sales area well. Set-up your sales workstations to ensure all the necessary items such as pens, tape and bags are easily available. Staff climbing over each other is non-productive and unprofessional. Plan for gift certificates, and ensure you have wrapping facilities available (Plain paper and also Christmas paper)
- Theme your store a little earlier than normal; this entices your customers to start thinking Christmas – link this to lay-by’s
- Clean up your stock room, this makes space available for additional incoming stock, also helps with the storage and management of lay-bys etc
- Design your refund/replacement policy. Communicate this with your team
- Remember to prepare your post-Christmas sale offer close to the end of December; this enables you to push overstocks before the lull period of January to March
It is important to remember that even when the chaos of Christmas trading hits your store, customers still shop for regular products and services.