Preparing for the Festive Season During a Seasonal Lull

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For retailers, sales often increase dramatically during the holiday season in the build up to the holidays. In fact, nearly three quarters admit that this time of year accounts for 20% of their annual sales.

This obviously means that the summer season may be significantly quieter for retailers. However, business owners should use this down time to prepare adequately for the busy holiday period. In this article, we look at how you can make the most of the slow season so that you can capitalise on the festive season ahead.

Sorting Inventory Stock

During the festive season when consumer demand spikes, you won’t have much time at all to think about store organisation. Organisation is extremely important for the success of any retail business. Not only for the safety and health of your workers, but also for the good impression it leaves on customers, and for your overall productivity.

Use the slow summer season to clean your stock room and organise all inventory stock into neat, labelled and easily accessible piles or areas. Start by going through everything in line with demand trends and put any obsolete or slow-moving inventory stock into a “for sale” pile. Later, you can sort through each item and price them accordingly to try and gain back your expenditure later.

Order everything according to type, size and colour if necessary. Give each item its own space, and label everything so that every product is easy to find. Then, when the busy holiday period arrives, you won’t lose out on sales because you’re spending too long searching for something out the back.

Cleaning the Store

Next, clean up the store itself. Presentation is extremely important when it comes to gaining and retaining customers, and this is something you won’t necessarily have time for when the customers finally start piling in.

This means removing any rubbish like old stock boxes, plastic bags, or unwanted tags, and cleaning the floor and surfaces. If you have an area where sales are made, pay special attention to this. Give everything a clean so that customers aren’t discouraged from buying from you when it comes to the peak sales season.

Finally, clean up any staff rooms or lunch rooms. A successful festive season is driven by good employees who work hard for sales and provide the best customer service possible, but they can only do this if they have a clean and relaxing place for them to take a break and reset. Ensure you take care of your employees and you will reap the benefits when the holiday season rolls around.

Remerchandise, Remarket and Rearrange

Before the busy season arrives, you want to give your store a fresh new look that highlights your most in-demand products and reflects the trends of the season. This may mean rearranging the store layout, using new props and decorations or even changing the lighting.

It’s always advisable to make sure there is enough floor space in between products in the store so that customers can comfortably browse. Creating floor space is also about dedicating enough space around each particular “landing” to draw attention to high-profit products with dramatic displays.

It is also a good idea to do some research before you reorganise the store. Have a look at what other retailers are focusing on and keep up but be sure to add your own unique twist to stand out among the competition.

This process may require new signage and colour schemes, and it may even require changes to your prices. Consider all of these things when reworking the store, to make it look fresh, modern, on trend and affordable. By doing these things, you can be confident when the busy holiday period rolls around and the customers start to roll in.

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Melanie - Unleashed Software

Article by Melanie Chan in collaboration with our team of Unleashed Software inventory and business specialists. Melanie has been writing about inventory management for the past three years. When not writing about inventory management, you can find her eating her way through Auckland.

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