Tips to Get Ready for the Holidays

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According to the National Retail Federation, holiday shopping numbers continue to grow each year, even despite the pandemic last year. Even independent college stores should prepare for the holiday season. Here are some tips on getting ready for the holidays.


Ideally as early as September, make sure you hire employees, so you have plenty of time for training before the rush of holiday shopping in November and December. Training is important to make sure your employees feel empowered and equipped to handle greater customer demands in the upcoming season.

The Retail Doctor suggests developing “battle plans” with your staff to get all employees’ attention in certain situation. He suggests:

  • All hands on deck – make a signal or a word so all staff know there is a commotion or problem.
  • Shoplifter – Make sure you have a plan to fight shoplifting, especially during December when there is a holiday rush and more distractions.
  • Weather – Consider what employees should do or how they should communicate in various weather-related situations such as a power outage, dangerous weather, or a need to evacuate.
  • Out of stock – You want good rapport with your customers so it is best to try and avoid bad will that often occur when you don’t realize you were out of stock. Figure out the best way to communicate within the staff about items running low or out.


Make sure you decide in advance and set your store holiday hours. This prepares your staff to know when you will be open during the season. Also, be strategic about your staff schedule.

Check out this helpful 30-Minute Pre-Check by the Retail Doctor for getting your store ready.


Preparing marketing before the holiday rush will save you a huge headache. Pick colorful, bright holiday decorations for the store that will make the environment enticing to shoppers. Decide what products you want to promote and when and create a social media calendar to schedule out your product promotions.

Check out our marketing tools on for helpful resources!

What will you be doing to prepare for the holidays?

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