There you have it, I’ve gone and done it and mentioned the word, Christmas. Just as most people are still enjoying their summer I bring Christmas into the mix. Well, I’m not the first person to mention this, Selfridges launched their Christmas shop last week and although a few disgruntled customers were not keen, or happy, according to Selfridges, the shop has been well received and their Christmas season has got off to a flying start.
By the early part of 2016 the big retailers will have their Christmas plans in the bag and ready to roll out at their chosen date but, for many independent retailers, Christmas doesn’t get considered until much later in the year. This is unfortunate because early planning can make a considerable difference to sales, especially when you consider the percentage of annual turnover achieved in the those last few important months of the year.
As much as you may not want to hear this, Christmas is well and truly on the way and it's time to get planning so, here are a few things to consider.
- Customers – what do they expect, what do they usually buy and, why come to you to make those purchases?
- Product plan - what will be your core offer this Christmas, new products, new ranges, theme?
- Merchandise – how much new stock will you be buying in and, how will you schedule delivery to help manage cash flow?
- Christmas campaign – what’s your theme or retail campaign going to be this Christmas and, when will you launch it?
- Marketing – what will you do to promote it, how will you do it and, when? This should include things like, shop window and in store theme, launch event, social media posts, print media and so on...
- Stand out – what will do that’s different and makes you stand out from the crowd?
- Planning – how will you keep your campaign fresh throughout the run up to Christmas?
- Sales/profitability – what are your projected sales and gross profit?
This is not an exhaustive list but my advice is, don’t leave it until the last minute, give yourself time to plan ahead and a chance to achieve your goals. So, what do you want for Christmas?
All the best
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