Twenty-eight days left to Christmas, are you prepared?
With only twenty-eight days left to Christmas, the busiest time for retail, preparations have already begun within malls to get into the seasonal mood, but have you ensured everything has been done to get ready for festivities?
Here is a quick checklist (with some helpful tips) to see if you are prepared for Christmas, or have left something out, it is not too late to complete the preparations!
Sales and Marketing
- Have you planned your holiday displays? This includes setting up Christmas lights, bringing out Santa and a decorated Christmas tree or even making signage for Christmas specific sales. Make sure your store looks and has a Christmas feel to it – it shouldn’t look the same as it did in October!
- Have you ordered holiday specific merchandise? Many stores tend to give Christmas gifts to shoppers. Set up a rewards system – for example giving a gift if the customer buys for more than three thousands shillings. The gifts should also emphasize the Christmas vibe – Christmas gift cards or showpieces are excellent gift items (and are cheap)
- Have you hired seasonal staff? The shopping rush during holidays can get hectic and overcrowded. Sometimes the staff already hired is not enough to manage the customers. Hire extra temporary ‘seasonal staff’ that can be trained easily and help with managing the customers.
- Have you bought extra store supplies? Christmas shoppers can get hectic and sometimes a bigger crowd than you anticipated can make its way into your store. But do you have enough store supplies to ensure you do not run out? This includes but is not limited to: cash desk supplies, including bags, pens, staplers, receipt paper, gift boxes and cards and cleaning supplies.
- Have you tightened security? The holiday season and its associated increased crowd can mean plenty of opportunity for theft. Ensure all your theft prevention methods (CCTV cameras, security guards) are up to date and informed. Another way of theft prevention is taking partial inventory counts rather than doing a full one (which must be done before the holiday season). This also ensures faster time to do the inventory and a more efficient way to maintain stock.
- Have you set up holiday policies? Many retailers set up new policies for the holiday, especially concerning the return of goods. This could be either refunding the money or giving store credit for the exchanged goods.
- Have you considered setting up extra registers? The holiday rush can be bizarre and queues can become very long if not tended carefully. Longer tilling times can be a problem, so consider setting up one or two extra registers to help distribute the tilling more efficiently and increase the rate of footfall and sales for the store as a whole.
Christmas can be a hectic sales season if not one is not well prepared to handle it. So go through the checklist, make sure you are fully ready to handle the extra workload, and sell away!