20/12/2013 - 15:33

Christmas is coming, are you ready?

20/12/2013 - 15:33

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Has your retail business done everything possible to maximise this busy shopping period?

Christmas is coming, are you ready?

The festive season is upon us and there is an increased urgency within shopping centres throughout Western Australia.

Advertising and brochures have lifted to a new level and people carrying multiple bags of new purchases are becoming the norm. Welcome to the retail frenzy that is Christmas!

Regardless of your ethnic or religious beliefs the late November/December trading period is the peak trading period for retailers throughout Australia.

Therefore it is integral that during this period you maximise every sale to ensure that your business is well placed to kick off the New Year.

Unlike last year, confidence is up (marginally), the government both state and federal is decided, and the world is relatively stable.

Now is the time to take back control of your business and deliver the unique selling experience that customers are looking for. Let’s make this the best retail trading period ever.

Your customers are looking for something new, something innovative and they are not just looking for a product or service, they are looking for an experience.

We need to better understand what our customers are looking for and make them aware that we care and that we have their best interests at heart. But how do we do this?

Look at the store layout as a customer, not as a retailer. Are the products easily accessible, what is the quality of the signage and are the product prices accurate and visible.

What visual triggers are you using to attract the customer to your business? Once there what is it that will entice them to spend their hard earned money?

At this time of year it is tempting to lift staff rosters on the basis that it will be busy and you want to provide a high level of service.

But don’t confuse lots of staff with providing good service. I have seen 3 staff make a group of customers feel like they are the only people in the world, so ensure that staff provide exceptional service. Everyone should be giving good service you need to give exceptional service.  

Don’t forget that this time of year can also be very stressful for customers and staff alike. Family pressures, work pressures and day to day life can compound at this time of year and as owners and managers we need to be aware of this.

Ensure that rosters allow for breaks and that staff are not required to work unreasonable shifts. Understand that customers may be a little more snappy than usual and that maybe all they need is a little advice or a quick chat.

In looking after everyone a manager or owner will also need to ensure that stock and wages do not blow out undermining all the good work achieved. Watch those rosters and understand exactly who you need at various times of the day.

With stock levels ensure there is ample stock to sell as you will not make money if you have nothing to sell. But don’t get too enthusiastic as excess stock may need to be sold at a discount if not sold before the New Year.

Theft is another factor of busy trading and we all need to be on watch to pick the shop lifters before they pick us! But remember that until they have left the premises they may not be deemed to have stolen anything.

And don’t be a hero, restraining a thief is very dangerous and could run foul of laws preventing the restraint of persons other than by the police.

So make the most of this festive trading period as a large portion of your annual profit can be made during this 4-6 week window.

But also remember that this should be a time for good will to all and taking the opportunity to spend time with friends and family.

Drive carefully and drink responsibly and this will ensure that you to are able to see in the New Year safely and be ready for another exciting year in the world of retail. 

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

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