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??
From all of us here at Graff Retail, we wish you a wonderful holiday season filled with family and friends (and great sales too!).Read Article
Here we are, just 12 ‘sleeps’ away from Christmas day. How have sales been in your stores so far this holiday selling season? Hitting your targets? Celebrating success? We certainly hope so, because there can hardly be one good reason why you shouldn’t be doing better this year than last.
But, ask yourself a bigger question: Do you have the Christmas spirit yet? Does your staff? How about your customers?
Sure, this ‘Christmas spirit’ thing might sound a little too warm and fuzzy (especially coming from us), but the truth is that if you have it, you’re more likely to be able to share it with those around you. If you manage others, it would be a remarkable gift to give them. If you sell to customers, you could brighten their day, even if just for a moment.
The reason this question is so important is because we know that the ‘science’ of shopping is dwarfed by the ’emotion’ of the buying experience. Imagine being a customer out shopping for gifts, dreading the expenditure and search, only to be confronted by store staff who is bored or tired of the whole ‘go wait on another customer’ thing. How likely is it that you would want to buy something in that store? Of course not.
What does all this ‘goodwill to men,and peace on earth’ stuff get you? Better productivity. Happier staff. Loyal customers. And, most of all, the warmest and best feeling deep inside you that will carry you through the season smiling and laughing.Read Article
During countless trips through numerous stores over the past few weeks we couldn’t help but notice a predominant and very disturbing trend … it’s next to impossible to find a manager on the sales floor! Can you believe it? The most important retail ‘show’ of the year and the cast and crew are running around without any direction or guidance from the most critical player of the performance … the director!
Where are they? Somewhere in the back room … buried in a mound of ‘vital’ paperwork behind the till … permanently tied up on the phone resolving goodness-knows-what. But certainly not in front of a customer or with another staff member where a shopper might be served or a sale made. Why not?Read Article
It’s hard to believe Christmas is almost here. Are you ready to make this a great selling season? There’s no reason why you can’t sell more!
Here are 5 things we think you need to get on top of right now if you haven’t already:Read Article
Everyone Stay Focused!
At this time of year when things are so busy, there are all kinds of distractions that can cause both you and your staff to lose focus. What are we talking about here? Too many shipments, long line ups, sore feet, busy schedules, short tempers. These things have a tendency to take your attention away from sales, and then what happens? Poor sales!
Now’s the time (more than ever!) to keep everyone’s eyes clearly focused on their targets. But how do you do this?Read Article
For just about every retailer, Black Friday is the holiday selling kick-off that we’ve waited for all year! Knowing that so many purchase decisions are made at store level, it’s time to make sure everyone on the sales floor is at the top of their game.Read Article
Anxiously keeping your fingers crossed and hoping that this Christmas season will be “The One”? The one that makes up for the disappointing seasons of the past … the one that really pushes you over the top and makes your whole year a success … the one that makes you happy you got into this business in the first place?Read Article
If you want to kick-start your holiday sales, develop and launch a sales contest that will get your staff’s attention and produce solid results. Sound easy? It’s not! To drive success on the sales floor, your contest must follow these important guidelines:Read Article
My favourite season of retail is upon us. Christmas stirs up all my fondest memories of my start in retail; working alongside my Dad in his stores, back when I was too young and naïve to truly appreciate all that he did for his staff to make the season special…and highly productive. Now when I’m out in stores and see the beginnings of this awesome holiday start to pop up, I can easily identify the many “gifts” he gave to his team to set them up for success, not just at Christmas, but the entire year through.Read Article
It’s that wonderful time of year again when we start to gear up for Christmas. A critical part of this process is hiring seasonal staff. The very thought of this is often enough to cause even the most experienced of managers to break out in a cold sweat! But don’t worry … it’s all about planning and execution.Read Article
I’ve spent most of the last 30 years on stage, speaking to audiences about so many topics that I can’t recall them all. What I know is that everything I talked about likely focused on the wonderful world of retail, and that almost every audience was somewhere between 30 and 300 people.Read Article
In my role at Graff Retail, I speak to Store Managers on a daily basis. At some point in the conversation we end up “talking shop” and managers share their biggest challenges with me (kind of like a retail therapy session!).Read Article
We’re working on a couple of very interesting and fascinating projects lately. What’s resonated the most with me about these projects, is likely the most important selling lesson possible.Read Article
Such a simple concept. Such an amazing thing do. Something I need to say to so many.
What I’m saying is “Thank You” to all of you that have allowed me, and my team, to be inspired by … you.Read Article
What does it take to roll out a great training program at store level? Better yet, what does it take to sustain a great training program at store level? Do you have the answer on the tip of your tongue? Don’t fret, from what I can tell, the majority of retailers out there don’t have the answers to these questions either.Read Article
Lately, I’ve been catching myself saying to my kids, ‘When I was your age I didn’t get to go there’ or, ‘I didn’t behave that way’ or, ‘I appreciated…’
And every time I start the sentence, my kids get this glossed over look in their eyes. Their eyes literally roll back into their heads.Read Article
We believe the role of the District Manager is probably the one that can affect sales the most out of any other role in a retail organization. Think about it. DM’s are out there in the field, hands-on, leading multiple stores per region from coast to coast. On average, most District Managers are responsible for 10 to 15 stores each. One region represents a significant portion of the sales volume for a retailer. An under-performing region can greatly affect the bottom line of a company, yet, DM’s receive the least amount of training when compared to other store operation roles. Why is this?Read Article
In the roles I’ve played in my retail career, I’ve had the pleasure of working with Retail District Managers in various capacities. As a Store Manager, I’ve reported to District Managers. As a Marketing Director I’ve relied on District Managers to help execute campaigns in their stores. And now, in my role at Graff Retail, I collaborate with DM’s on rolling out and sustaining new training programs at store level.Read Article
You can’t read much about leadership these days without running across this notion of the need for leaders to be empathetic.
You would be forgiven for thinking initially that this will require you to become a real softy or that this is a ‘touchy feely topic’.Read Article