Preparing for the Post-Holiday Retail Rush

While even John Q. Public knows that the Friday after Thanksgiving (“Black Friday”) is the biggest shopping day of the year, every veteran retailer buckles up his chinstrap for the after-holiday sales. Bargain-hunting consumers flush with Christmas job bonuses and looking to return unwanted gifts fill the aisles. So what can you do to prepare for the rush? Here are a few overlooked planning “must-do’s.”

• Advertise in the local paper
• Schedule extra staffing during the busy morning hours
• Post prominently your store’s return policies for both your customers and employees

These are very effective organizational measures you can take to improve your post-holiday bottom-line, but your preparation can’t stop there. You have to ready your retail space, especially since the pre-Christmas surge probably left little time for the usual store cleaning and maintenance.

Start with cleaning the store from top to bottom. Freshen displays. Repaint or repair aged mannequins. Clean the corners. Make sure the aisles are clear. Re-evaluate your window display. Remember that since this is a major shopping event, there will be a lot of curious shoppers seeing your store for the first time. It’s an excellent opportunity to recruit new customers.

Keeping key store supplies stocked is also very important. Unanticipated shortages such as running out of cash register paper rolls will surely lead to lost sales. Here’s a list of key display and store supply items that are essential to any successful post-holiday sale.

• Dump Bins and Tables
• Price Marking Guns
• Shopping Bags
• Gift Boxes
• Cash Register Supplies
• Revolving Graphic Displays
• Moving Message Signs

With enough foresight and preparation, you can have your cash registers ringing like sleigh bells in the post-holiday blitz. It’ll make your holiday season all the merrier.

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