We are nearing the time of year that all retailers anticipate and dread in equal measure: the Christmas rush. For retailers, this rush is the epitome of the quote “it was the best of times, it was the worst of times”.
The Best Of Times: As a retailer, it’s rather important that you have customers. The more customers you have, the more money you’re going to be able to make. The Christmas rush is therefore welcomed by most retailers as one of the most profitable times of the year.
The Worst Of Times: The busyness. The queues. The customers who are stressed, harassed, and always seem to be on the verge of arguing with one another. It all combines to mean that the Christmas period might be profitable for a retailer, but Santa is also going to bring a decent dose of stress your way.
In an attempt to ensure you capitalize on the best rather than the worst of times, now is the time to make a few changes and updates to your store. If you make these changes now, they should be well bedded in by the time the Christmas shoppers begin to arrive– and these changes will help you survive the deluge all the better.
1) Clear The Aisles
Your store is going to be busier in the lead-up to Christmas, so you need to clear the aisles of pretty much everything. Remove in-store displays and any special advertising sections you have; the aisles need to be free for multiple customers to browse at the same time.
2) Upgrade The Register
Speed is of the essence when it comes to working the register during the Christmas rush. Run through a check on all of your equipment and see if there’s any way you can ring things up quicker. If your tech needs an upgrade, you’ve still got time to get it done before December hits; opt for a new Opticon scanner so you can whizz through the queues, and don’t forget to include a few impulse purchase options for the counter.
3) Security Tag Everything
Sadly, the Christmas rush tends to also see an uptick in thefts, with thieves using the cover of people to disguise their misdeeds. Add security tags to any item that is over $100, or any of the items that are popular with shoplifters You can either use ink tags which spill if forcibly removed — thus ruining the item — or electronic tags which will trigger an alarm if carried through the store doors. This is a big investment, but if it helps you avoid Christmas thefts, it should pay for itself by January.
4) Hire More Staff
You might be fully staffed and therefore think you can skip this, but that’s not necessarily the case. Don’t forget the Christmas rush is right in the midst of cold and flu season; what are you going to do if two members of staff call in sick? Hire seasonal staff as short-term cover who can fill in during such an eventuality.
Now all that’s left is to get ready to enjoy the Christmas spirit this year, and look forward to counting the profits in the New Year.