Overcoming Post-Holiday Headaches – The 13th month

Congratulations!  You have made it through the Christmas selling season and hopefully you and your team have done a great job of assisting customers with meeting their needs and have reaped the rewards of your effort!

But guess what!  The holiday selling – and serving – season is not over.  In fact, the week after Christmas can generate as much traffic for your location as the week prior to the holiday!  Whether it is customers seeking great mark-downs, redeeming gift cards or wanting to exchange or return a gifts you need to be prepared for an influx of customers.   

Set Yourself a Goal

One of the retailers I used to work for used to call the week after Christmas the “13th month” and our goal was to create as much revenue in that seven-day period as we would in one of our off-peak months.  That is a tall order, but here are some ideas to help you!

Move That Merchandise Out Front –Take advantage of the foot traffic to show your customers your great deals!  Whether you are trying to move out overstocks or sell your everyday products, take advantage of the extra foot traffic by making sure your customers can see your products – avoid the temptation to do a “clean sweep” of the sales floor for a few days

Accessories, Accessories, Accessories –whether you are in the electronics business , the clothing sector or another retail segment, it is likely your customers received products that they need to accessorize!  Have accessory items….batteries, socks, jewelry cases, car accessories, scarves or whatever makes sense near your checkout counter and suggestive sell them at every opportunity!

Turn Those Returns Around –While dealing with refunds and exchanges can be frustrating, the truth is that your store will be bringing in a lot more revenue than will be going out.  Instead of anticipating problems or irate customers… focus on treating every customer with respect and focus on solving problems for your customers.  When you do so, it is highly likely that they will actually spend more money in your store and you will earn a raving fan!

 Collect Customer Contact Information – Many customers only shop in your location during the holiday season, so this may be your last chance to get them on your preferred customer list.  At the checkout, ask them if they would like to join your free preferred customer program.  If they say “yes,” you can collect their email information and then reach out to them throughout the year to encourage repeat business!

If you are looking for more tools to help you and your team perform better in this next year, contact us for a free one-hour phone consultation and Happy New Year from the Retail Training Services team!

-          David Goodwin is the Principal of the Retail Advocacy Group.  As a 30 year veteran of the retail industry he has operated hundreds of retail locations and has hired, trained, and performance managed thousands of retail sales representatives and retail managers.  You can learn more about instructor-led, e-learning, and other training solutions for retailers at www.retailertrainingservices.com.