While students get ready for midterms and apple picking campus store managers should be thinking about the holiday retail season. The key to a successful holiday shopping season is early planning and consistent marketing, especially if your store has to compete against retail giants. Retailers often engage with Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas festivities in terms of decorations, discounts, and other sales activities. It’s not too early to prepare for the holiday season, make 2015 your best holiday season yet and start planning today. Follow these tips to kick-off Q4!
- You’ll be expecting greater volume during the last quarter of the year and your customers will be expecting even greater deals. Go through your inventory list and determine which items you can discount.
- Stock up on popular items early in the season. Your competitors will also be buying the season’s hottest gifts, so the earlier you order them, the better. Follow retail trends and popular blogs to get ideas on the next “it” item.
- Prepare your warehouse and stock rooms for extra volume. Before the holidays begin, start to clear out old inventory by offering a pre-holiday sale with less up to date items. This will help boost your sales and clean up your storage space.
- Secure advertising channels early. Campus events become very popular before the holiday season and winter break. Any advertising space around campus will be a hot commodity, reserve key advertising spaces now!
- Train, train and retrain some more. Often during the holiday season you pick up new staff members or your store may offer additional conveniences such as gift-wrapping or longer hours. Your staff will need to be ready for the rush. Make sure everyone knows where inventory is and what their roles is.
- Don’t skimp on holiday spirit! Creating eye catching displays are critical for increasing store traffic. Every store has a different budget but there are many ways you can decorate your store without breaking the bank. Pinterest is a great resource for DIY craft; try searching “Holiday Window Displays” or “Holiday Merchandising Retail” for fun ideas.