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How to prepare for Christmas

Christmas is the biggest holiday of the year, with everybody rushing to the shops to find the perfect gift, table settings or decorations for the festive period.

The dramatic increase in sales and footfall can put a strain on retailers who aren’t properly prepared. This is why planning early is key, with many retailers planning up to a year in advance for the next festive period.

2019 saw Selfridges launch their London based Christmas store on the 1st August – 141 shopping days before the big day! Follow our tips below to prepare for Christmas the right way and ensure that your business doesn't get left behind in the festive dust.

How to prepare for Christmas

Update POS displays

Whether you are a retailer, restaurant or leisure centre, POS is your best friend leading up to the holiday season. Let people know about your upcoming event, direct people to your offers or inform shoppers about changes to your opening hours.

Upgrade your POS over Christmas, including your window displays, to a festive or winter theme. Think red, green and gold shelf talkers, snowy window displays and decorated display stands.

Additionally, it is easy to add a warm, inviting glow to your business using under shelf lighting and LED poster frames, which should see an increase in footfall.

Keep staff happy

Keeping your staff happy over the busy festive period is crucial as they are key to making sure your product sells and for building customer loyalty.

Keep morale high by making sure you are always fully staffed, nobody is over stretched or over worked and everyone knows what is happening in store.

Staff also need to be aware of your upcoming sales and returns policies as higher sales and return rates are a guarantee over the holidays.

Snap frames are a great choice for both in-store and behind the scenes to keep your staff and customers fully informed, from opening times to special offers.

Think about store layout

Around the Christmas period, shoppers will be out in force, including those who want to be in and out as quickly as possible. Keep things like decorations, essentials and popular gifts on your power aisle at the front of your store to make them visible and accessible.

Don't crowd your store, as this can be frustrating for customers who are pushed for time. Organise your point of sale to maximise on space.

Utilise dump bins and clip strips for stocking fillers, keeping your store full but organised and maximising impulse buys. Additionally, don't forget to ensure that you have enough shopping baskets to go around.

Replenish your stock

Many Christmas shoppers may have seen a product online and come in store to buy it, so make sure you have it to hand. Stock will sell out quicker than usual, so be prepared with higher stock levels. If you have been promoting a particular product or service, ensure that you use adequate showcards and shelf signage so that customers can find what they are looking for faster.

Ensure you have the Christmas essentials ready to sell. Consumers tend to bulk buy at Christmas more than any other time of year, so make sure you are ready for this.

It’s also worth ensuring you have enough stock to take you through the Boxing Day and January Sales, as deliveries are usually restricted over the festive period.

Consider multi-channel retailing

Keep customers satisfied and wanting to return. The first step to this is to have all your information readily available, such as in a brochure. When is your last delivery date? Can they collect in store? Is your delivery trackable? Do you have an extended returns policy?

Having all information across your web, social media and store not only makes for happy customers, but it frees up your staff from answering simple questions.

If possible, offer a click and collect or order to store service. This is convenient, quicker and cheaper for many customers. Have more people working your social media accounts ready to respond to customer queries quickly.

Create seasonal window displays

Window displays are an important advertising tool all year round, but like the Christmas TV adverts, in recent years many people have come to anticipate Christmas retail window display.

This is your opportunity to stand out. You could do the traditional Santa's Grotto or Lapland scene, but why not think outside of the box? Think penguins and polar bears, the Nutcracker or Christmas trees with unique decorations to suit your brand and industry.

People romanticise Christmas, so create the dream through your window display. Think about your spacing, lighting, colours and props. Our Visual Merchandising Display Stands are perfect for creating engaging window displays and also function as in store display units.

Bestselling Christmas POS