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    Posted October 21, 2014 by

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    Retailers preparing for upcoming holiday rush


    Retailers throughout the U.S. are preparing for the upcoming holiday rush.

    The beginning of the fourth quarter marks the start of the final sprint to meet annual earnings goals, making it a high-stakes period of the year for retailers everywhere.


    For consumers and smaller businesses, two weeks before Halloween counts as fairly far from the Thanksgiving and Christmas shopping blooms. This is just the time that larger operations begin their planning, however, as they simply cannot afford to wait until the rush begins to develop sales strategies.



    Managing the massive influx of consumers is a challenge for the entirety of a company´s hierarchy, from salespeople on the floor to those in charge of operations management. Retailers expend impressive amounts of energy and resources analyzing sales data and marketing strategies.


    At the level of the retail outlet, this often involves detailed performance reviews of the sales team and managerial supervision of salespeople on the floor and careful analysis of what products should and should not be stocked, and in what quantities.


    Higher levels of administration focus on developing effective advertising campaigns and developing marketing strategies to increase the ease with which outlets can successfully execute cross-sells and upsells.


    Often, this involves heavy or widespread discounts on goods and services. Wal-Mart offers free layaway as early as September, for instance, and matches any competitor’s lower prices by giving customers in-store credit equal to the difference in price.


    Along from the change in ambience that seasonal decorations bring, such discounts are amongst the most obvious changes that come with the holidays and a more attentive sales force are the changes that customers are most likely to notice. These are available in abundance on online sites like shop pirate, but much harder to find in bricks and mortar stores.


    Properly managing the holiday rush is particularly important this year. Retailers have been posting uneven results throughout the year, ensuring their annual earnings goals are anything from assured.


    This makes it even more crucial that they leverage the projected 3.5% increase over last year’s consumer spending figures cited by the Retail Touchpoints Holiday Guide.


    The guide recommends retailers focus on providing customers with a personalized in-store experience and to streamline the shopping process for those who choose to shop primarily online. This year, the numbers indicate they are likely to listen.

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