Here’s How to Have a Fantastic Xmas Trading Period

With Xmas just around the corner and every retailer needing to make the most of this period, I thought I’d share some tips on how to maximise this busy and often crazy time. Your stores will receive a lot more customers and this provides an amazing opportunity to showcase your products and customer focus. It’s challenging of course, with the amount of stock turning up daily, however, you not only want your customers to come in now but also in January and February and ongoing because you made such a great impression.

It’s this time of the year when the most amount of pressure comes onto store managers as they are pushed and pulled in every direction. So here’s a quick guide to 5 actions that store managers can put in place to help maximise this trading period:

  • Daily catch up before the doors open. These catch ups only need to be 5 minutes and should cover – up to date results (KPI’s), sales budget for each day, key products focus and any news for that day. This way in just a few minutes your team will be up to speed and focus on the start of each busy day. When you hire Xmas casuals they need to feel part of the team as well as accountable for results, just like everyone else.
  • Walk the store every day before you open (ideally with the team). Once you have completed a daily catch up it pays to have a quick walk to the store to ensure you are ready to open. You can point out new products, identify any stock-outs and highlight again the focus products. You can also identify any area that may need particular attention either now or later in the day.
  • Be that great role model and lead by example. Your new staff will be looking for you to show them how it’s done, so make sure you are always at your best when serving customers. It’s also very difficult to provide feedback to staff if you are not doing it right in the first place. You don’t have to have the highest KPI’s but they need to be up there.
  • Focus on delegating as much as possible. To avoid getting caught up doing too much and getting not much done, this is the time for store managers to delegate as much as possible to their 2IC and other staff. This allows the store manager to be freed up and focus on sales – results against KPI’s, who needs to improve and how. Spending as much time on the shop floor will massively contribute to achieving great results.
  • Keep up with the coaching. By freeing themselves up, store managers can do two things – be that great sales person and help others to also meet their targets. Spending time on the floor allows you to observe how the team is serving and selling. This allows the store manager to provide the short and sharp feedback to keep people on track or lift their performance. Your Xmas casuals will need this help to get them up to speed and keep them sales focussed.

The above 5 tips will hopefully help store managers to focus on what is important at an essential time of year for every retailer. Store managers need to be amazing coaches at this time of year, able to stand back, observe and provide support where it’s needed most.

Roger Simpson – CEO, The Retail Solution and Author of “The Ultimate Retail Sales Experience” With over 35 years’ industry experience, Roger Simpson is recognized as Australia’s #1 Authority on customer ROI in the retail industry and as a global expert on staff coaching, customer service, and selling skills.