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Plan Now for a Happy New Year! Getting Ready for Retail the Day After Christmas!

Avatar photo by Casey Woods, Executive Director | December 20, 2017
The countdown is almost done, and Christmas is almost here!  When Christmas lands on a Monday the consumer dynamics can get a little weird.  The biggest shopping day of the year is typically the day after Christmas as consumers seek to bargain shop, but a full “work week” after the Christmas holiday can alter buying.  The “after Christmas” rush can be a positive for businesses, if they have an established plan.
I know everybody is busy, but a little work now can increase sales and traffic later!
1. Use “bring back” specials as gift bag inserts.  If you are altering hours, have set discount plans, or conducting drawings, create a bag “stuffer” to let all of your customers know!  Your existing customer base is already shopping with you, and giving them a great reason to shop your business after Christmas gives you “top of mind” awareness that generates buzz for your brand.  The “After Christmas” insert doesn’t have to be super fancy, but it should highlight your brands and products specifically (i.e.- don’t discount the entire store a set percentage, instead, give great deals on a few targeted items).
2. Discount back to front.– A lot of retailers want to push discounted items right to the front door, and then they wonder why shoppers don’t venture any further.  Great deals go in the back! Shop Local Christmas PledgeWhen you encourage shoppers to wander through the entire store, you expose more of your merchandise and increase sales potential.
3. Plan your social media posts.  Immediately after Christmas, stores can simultaneously get “slammed” while shorting staff hours.  The impact of rush traffic and lower staff numbers is inconsistent marketing.  Scheduling social media posts in advance can help alleviate some of the strain.  Remember that social media posts after Christmas can take on the same frenetic tone as shopping itself, so don’t be afraid to snap a quick pick of a dwindling merchandise table with a “Just THREE Left!!!”, and post that to your social media outlets.
4. Collect testimonials.  All of those products and gifts that people loved this holiday season?  Now is the time to collect testimonials!  Try to make time to snap a picture and grab a quote about people’s favorite items from your store.  It’s not technically bragging if someone else says it…  Testimonials resonate with the public and can drive future traffic.
5. Welcome “out-of-towners”.  The mass of people during the holiday rush can lead to sales clerks that are “done peopleing”.  Remind your staff that a significant group of holiday shoppers visiting your store may be from out of town and have no idea what you offer.  Encourage your staff to be ready with the “elevator pitch” about your business.  Collect email addresses for future contact, and if you have a website that enables sales, make sure you push the web address to out-of-towners.
6. Highlight volume discounts and scarcity of items.  The goal for a lot of businesses prior to the end of the year is to “move inventory”.  Incentives for bulk buys make more sense for a lot of business for generating business than “one at a time” sales.  At the same time, stores have to impart a sense of urgency for customers (regardless of deals).  Letting people know that a limited stock is declining rapidly is an effective driver of consumer action.
7. Don’t forget to ring in the New Year! New Years may be one of the most overlooked consumer holidays.  Concerns with unsafe driving have pushed a lot of people to celebrate with friends in a house party atmosphere.  Gifts for hosts, food, beverages, and entertainment based items can be sold if marketed properly.  A “Perfect for New Years” section in your store may be a great way to drive “full price” sales to consumers during a time of year traditionally dominated by discounts

About the Author

Casey Woods, Executive Director

Before accepting the director position in March of 2009, Casey worked in both retail and agricultural jobs in the family businesses. A lifelong resident of the Emporia Area, Casey was a ten year volunteer for Emporia Main Street prior to his appointment as director. During that time he served as the board president and chair of the Economic Vitality Committee.

Casey also serves as a partner in PlaceMakers, LLC, a consulting firm that routinely works with both large and small communities, and their businesses, to promote sustainable economic growth through community and economic development practices. Casey consults with businesses, organizations and communities to understand their market capacity and fill vacant spaces. He has been involved in two projects that included crowdfunding as a part of their overall business funding strategies, Radius Brewing and Twin Rivers Winery & Gourmet Shoppe.