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?
Well, market indications are fairly positive right now. It looks like people are ready to spend. That should be good news, right? Yet only some retailers are able to really capitalize on strong markets like this. Why is that?
Like any other success story, it takes initiative, effort and real determination on your part to achieve the results you’re looking for. You can’t just sit back and expect to ride the best peaks during this shopping tidal wave. You’ve got to have a plan, get everyone on board and work smart. And you have to do this better than the next guy!
So what does all this mean when you’re ready to roll on Monday morning? For those who are having some difficulty deciding where to start, check out the following items. If you’re looking for ‘big time’ results from this holiday season, you might want to make sure they’re part of your action plan.
1. Get out into the stores.
There’s nothing more important right now than what’s going on in the stores. So get everybody out there. Not only will the help be appreciated, but there’s no better learning experience for your corporate support team than exposing them to some real store action! Besides, as we always say … “There ain’t no money being made in the office … it just gets spent there!”
2. Hold off on unnecessary markdowns.
This isn’t the time to be tossing your good merchandise onto the markdown rack … there’s still lots of shopping to be done. With the anticipated increase in Gift Card sales, you should continue to see plenty of demand in the weeks following Christmas.
3. Be ready to sell.
When your doors are open, make sure everyone is ready to sell! Schedule additional shifts either before or after store hours to handle the tasks that, while important, get in the way of selling to customers.
4. Keep selling!
When things get busy, there’s a tendency for staff to “clerk” instead of sell. Continue to hold them accountable to their IPS targets and make sure you’re squeezing every last possible item out of the store. (For more on this topic, check out our “Training Tips For Store Managers” below.)
5. Check your Boxing Week Strategy.
Specifically, watch out for any potential distribution problems. During Boxing Week, we hear more complaints about distribution issues than anything else.
6. Recognize your staff’s incredible efforts.
You’re probably asking your store managers and sales staff to handle a lot right now … long hours, harried work environments and the burden of ‘stressed out’ customers. Remember that small rewards go a long way in helping employees feel cherished. So host a staff breakfast in your store or bring in treats during the day. Showing your appreciation will go a long way when you’re looking for aggressive results!
7. Have fun!
Remember, too, that it’s Christmas time. If you’re happy and you let your staff be happy, guess what? Your customers will be happy, too!
So get busy out there and make it happen! You owe it to yourself and your staff to be as successful as you can possibly be. And if that means giving your customers more attention, better service and fewer hassles, you can bet they’ll be wishing you a Merry Christmas, too!