The big boys like Target and Wal-Mart have been promoting holiday for weeks now. And if you’ve paid any attention to retailers in general, holiday decorations and goods for sale have been out as early as September (I spied outdoor lights and artificial trees at Costco that early).
Ever mindful of the disastrous season last year, big retailers are doing everything they can to promote a successful season this year, and that includes getting customers into their stores to shop early. They’re doing it by putting holiday merchandise out, and by offering special sales.
Wal-Mart is offering 100 toys under $10, Target is offering 50% of some toys and that’s just the beginning.
Retailers know they’ll never win the chicken and egg game with consumers as consumers will hold out until retailers drop their prices. So retailers have changed the game.
THE REAL WORLD RETAILING TAKEAWAY
Entrepreneurial retailers need to take cues from the big boys in order to stay competitive.
If you went into this holiday season figuring it couldn’t be worse this holiday season, think again. The National Retail Federation is predicting sales could drop by 1% versus last year, hence the reason for big guys are pulling out their guns early.
You should too. Get into holiday today if you haven’t done so already by doing the following:
- Put holiday displays up – holiday is almost over so no one will blink an eye as they’ve seen holiday displays for a month already
- Pull out products with any special deals you’re running and make sure you prominently feature them and make sure you tell customers about the deals via signage. Getting customers to buy early is critical. Give them a reason.
- Find what’s working and what’s not. Do more of what’s working and eliminate what’s not. Products you thought would be best-sellers aren’t moving at all? Don’t be afraid to discount them slightly to try to move through them. The last thing you want is to have excess inventory at then end of the season. This holiday is all about avoiding extreme markdowns – better to run out then to not make any margin.
How are you getting a head start on holiday?
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