Dreaming of a better Christmas?

Spin through our festive season checklist


You’ll no doubt be gearing up for the festive season, gritting your teeth at the thought of Jingle Bells sounding out everywhere and planning your rotas to keep the queues of happy customers, well, happy.

The reps will be regaling you with great trade offers and plenty of colourful POS while local food suppliers will have stacks of ideas to adorn the healthiest of Christmas tables.

But it’s your store, and your leadership and ideas are essential to make this the season to be jolly, Jingle Tills and all that. It shouldn’t be hard to improve on last year as it was, according to the British Retail Consortium, “the worst in a decade”.

If you’re the analytical type (aren’t we all?), here’s a checklist of things to be thinking about, courtesy of consumer feedback platform Critizr:

LOOKING BACK

Understand what works and what doesn’t:

  • What products sold last year and what didn’t?
  • Did you run out of stock on any lines?
  • Compare pre-Christmas sales figures for the past few years.

GET A GRIP

Admit it, some pain came with the gain:

  • When did staff levels, stock rotation and back office support not go to plan?
  • Review customer feedback in the run to last Christmas to sort the good from the bad.
  • Pinpoint the times and areas where you can improve.

KNOW YOUR CUSTOMERS

  • Which customer group bought the most?
  • Do some of them only buy at Christmas?
  • When did they start their Christmas shopping?

GET THE TIMING RIGHT

  • When was your store at its busiest last year?
  • If you sell online, when was this busiest?
  • When did you start discounting?

LEARN FROM OTHERS

  • What did your competitors do last year that made them stand out?
  • What’s being planned by your town and the community?

Make sure you’re registered with Small Business Saturday (smallbusinesssaturdayuk.com), a grassroots, non-commercial campaign that highlights small business success and encourages consumers to shop local and support small businesses in their communities.

Get it right with some careful planning and you can allow yourself a well deserved celebration – before actioning a similar plan that you’ve also created for the January sales!

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