If you’re like most retailers out there, here’s some great news for you – gift card sales over the past several months should push your performance ‘over the top’ in the new year!
But are you ready to make the most of this bonanza?
With the season’s push on gift card sales it virtually assures that January revenues for the average retailer will be strengthened once again. Like it or not (and what’s not to like??), gift cards are now well-entrenched in the gift-giving process. With more and more people buying and receiving gift cards at Christmas, a lot of additional shopping trips during the 45 days after Christmas are inevitable!
This trend presents its own challenges and opportunities and has changed the way retailers need to do business. Gift card sales in December reduce revenues for that month, deferring them to Boxing Week, January, and even early February.
- So what’s the best way to capitalize on this situation?
- How do you modify your inventory and distribution strategy?
- Should you carry less merchandise going into December and bring in new stock for Boxing Week and January (knowing that gift cards will be redeemed during this period)?
Here’s the challenge
When you have a captive market (like gift card customers), do you really want to be unloading discounted merchandise? Of course not … you want to sell product at full price. But if you mark down everything in your store just as these shoppers arrive, you’re cheating yourself out of full margin sales. So make sure you’ve got new lines and fresh inventory to show and you’ll make the most of the holiday shopping season both before and after Christmas!
That’s right … what we’re talking about is captive customers who are already committed to spending money in your store. They also typically spend more than the value of the card, but often leave unspent dollars on the table (this means free money for you!). In addition, they are also prepared to buy full priced goods. What more could you want??