3 Things You Can Do in September to Get Holiday Ready
It’s time for school again, which means retailers are gearing up for the holidays, as well. Throw in the end of summer and (possibly) excess inventory from your summer buys, and we’re confident you are pretty busy! To help you plan your month, consider these 3 tips to keep your in-store operations on track and ready to go as the days only get busier in the months ahead (remember, it is approaching holiday season, after all).
1. Identify Your Holiday Decor & Merchandising Plans
For some folks, you have this on the top of your to-do-list and can’t wait to get your holiday windows and in-store displays done. For others, this is a dreaded task that rarely happens on time or with stellar conversations to follow it. Either way, make sure you have everything you need to get your in store displays and window displays done this holiday season. From garland to silver ornament balls to ribbon to Christmas trees, consider what you need to make your store festive and fun. Identify what you already have from seasons in the past and identify what you need for the season ahead. Make a budget to fill in the holes of any new decorations you may need, or get crafty and make your holiday decor by recycling non-traditional decor items. Your ultimate goal? To have everything ready to go so that you can get your store decorated and holiday ready in a breeze (well, you know what we mean).
2. Begin to Promote Your Seasonal Festivities
From Halloween to Thanksgiving to the various holidays that fill December, consider what you will do to get customers into your store. The competition is tough this time of year, so keep this always in mind, as well. Plan ahead to organize some great events that will get your customers excited beginning NOW. Promote your festive events with an in-store marketing calendar and bag-stuffers (postcards or other promotional items that promote upcoming events in your store) as well as use your other marketing channels to start spreading the word. Social media, email marketing and local groups can all help you maximize the exposure of these events. Your key goal, however, this September? Get your events on your calendar and start their marketing ASAP. Then rev it up come six to 4 weeks out, with full speed in gear 2 weeks out until the day of the actual event. It’s truly never too early to start planning for events! Do not forget to get your local media involved, as well. Send press releases out and share news of your events so (hopefully) they can help you in spreading the word.
3. Step Outside of Your Comfort Zone
Year in, year out it’s very comfortable to do the same things. Every now and again, though, it’s great to welcome new ideas, introduce new traditions and incorporate new ways to gain in-store excitement and sales. We’re big fans of doing this all year long, however the holidays welcome a tremendous amount of fun ways to liven your store up and increase sales. Retail experts Georganne Bender, Rich Kizer and Debra Templar joined forces to create a dynamic e-book on all things holiday, and we absolutely LOVE it. So this holiday season, why not gift yourself with some great ways to help your store thrive? This early holiday present will be something you will refer to again and again because whether it’s the holidays or any other time of year, there are great ideas packed into this e-book that we know you will love. Check it out here!
Finally, take this month to plan ahead in your holiday staffing. If you know you are going to need some seasonal employees, start looking for great hires now. You want to be sure to have enough time to train them on your store policies, customer service and inventory, as well, so don’t forget to plan for this in your schedule, as well!
Here’s wishing you some festive, fun holiday planning in the month ahead!