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  • Writer's pictureMiriam Simon

'So here it is. Merry Xmas. Everybody's having fun..'​Does that include retailers?

Black Friday has come and go

ne. It's December. You're now into the final push. This is it. Proper Peak!

As a Retailer, you're likely feeling worried, impatient, and concerned that the rush is later than ever this year. These are all normal (and often annual) retailer feelings. And if you haven't planned sufficiently - this is also a time where you may also be feeling some pain. You 'are where you are' - However the next 4 weeks are critical trading.

So! What can you do to make the best of the additional footfall when it finally hits?

Keep your Store layout as clean and simple as possible.

This is not the time to over-merchandise or opt for an eclectic feel to your store. Shoppers will be feeling just as stressed as you are!

They want clear walkways and easy to navigate stores. Make it easy for them to see your amazing product.

Simplify simplify simplify! Block product categories. Have clear zoning. Ensure your pricing is also very clear.

I know it's hard. However - If possible, don't over pack the store, shelves, rails, aisles, till areas etc.

Instead - Schedule in at least one daily afternoon 'power hour', where you reset the store ahead of evening trade - This includes reset of standards as well as re-stocking for evening trade.

Do the Work for your Customer

Following on from above. In an increasingly busy world - the more you can help your customer, the better. Remove all friction.

Give them great gifting ideas. And I'm not just talking about the stands of shaving kits and other 'tut' that appears each year - Give them original, thoughtful & good gifting ideas.

Have those gifting options visible, wrapped, and ready to just pick up. Think about different customer needs and the price points within this.

Have a 'Gift in a Hurry' option available - especially from Mid Dec on-wards. Set up a Grab n Go area - With fast payment options adjacent.

Make your Gift Vouchers accessible / attractive / actually 'Gift Like' and READY TO GO!

Get a GOALKEEPER into Position

You will likely have already briefed your Team about on a 'Service = Security' mindset over the coming weeks. However, there is major opportunity here to drive sales.

Get your greeter to also engage with anyone leaving empty handed. Many of those leaving without purchase / are leaving because it appears to them that you don't have what they want or need. They've either not been engaged with whilst shopping or haven't been able to find their items. It's rare in December that people are in stores simply to browse...

Get a bit of competition & craic around this. Engaging with the Goalkeeper mindset can be transformational to trading if managed well. Imagine if you convert even 20% of empty-handed shoppers. The Customer leaves happy and engaged with / You take more money. What's not to love...?

Look after your People so that they look after You!

Retail is a tough gig. No argument there! And stressed Teams plus stressed customers can be explosive when they collide. So, try to oil the wheels in December...

Where can you inject some fun to help the Team get through a hard and fast paced day? Silly games and some friendly competition can make a hard day move faster. And laughter is the best medicine.

Feed your people. Your Teams will be battling crowds on their breaks too. This is not restful and doesn't enable them to be their best - For You. So, have snacks and treats on hand.

Be Mannerly. Say Thank You! - Do it often. Encourage your Team at every possible juncture so that they feel good and so they want to be their best for you!

And finally

Don't forget that you WILL see increased traffic in your store over these coming weeks. This means more people will see what you do / what you offer. You have an opportunity to convert new customers and further secure your 2020 business. December is your time to shine... Good Trading!

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