Countdown to Christmas: how to keep your shop running smoothly during Christmas

Growth and strategy

9 December 2016

As a retailer, the festive season is likely to be one of your busiest times of year. And we all know the Christmas preparations likely start months in advance – but the final checks will always need to be made once December gets into full swing.

Here’s our Christmas countdown checklist, to help you get through an action-packed December.

Three weeks to go

It’s already getting busy, so make sure you have your team in place. Post up the rotas, because this is your last realistic opportunity to fill any gaps.

It’s also time to fill the gaps on your shelves and in your online catalogue. And don’t forget the backroom stock – till rolls, carrier bags and packaging materials are all going to be in high demand.

If you offer online sales, check that your website is up-to-date, bug-free, and robust enough to handle an upsurge in visitors. And, yes, it’s fine to bring out the Christmas music at this point.

Two weeks until Christmas

Keep on top of the stock. Know exactly what’s on the shelves, what’s in the back and what’s on the next delivery.

Your festive displays might be looking a bit tired by now. Delegate someone to keep your Christmas decorations looking their sparkling best and your windows inviting.

Only one week left

By now, your main focus is simply on the daily operational needs of serving and restocking.

Is there anything special going on in your shop? Last-minute competition is fierce – offering mince pies or having some live carols (space permitting) will give you an edge over other retailers.

Keep staff morale high with your team Christmas party, as you may need to call on some extra help over the next few days.

The final push!

Post out the final festive orders – see the Parcelforce website for those crucial last posting dates.

It’s now time to plan your post-Christmas sales. If you sell perishable goods, you’ll also be thinking about pre-Christmas reductions. As well as your discount strategy, consider how you want your shop to look. Sales customers will respond better to a cheerful, well-stocked shop that looks every bit as smart and attractive as it did for Christmas.

Now turn the shop sign round to 'closed' – you’ve made it. Happy Christmas!