Product Buying – Make the most of the Golden Quarter
The so-called “golden quarter” is known in the retail industry as the three month run up to Christmas and the New Year – this presents a big opportunity for independent retailers, with customers on the hunt for festive deals and opening their wallets for calendar day sales such as Black Friday. It’s really important you are as prepared as possible, with buying relevant stock, signage and merchandising, but most importantly, creating that magic in store that your customers expect to see. With daily competition coming from budget stores and online selling, it has never been more relevant to be prepared.
Merchandising Made Easy
Gifting is key across all area’s in the Golden Quarter – from home fragrance to food, customers are always looking for that perfect gift to give to someone special. Ensure all price points are covered from £4.99 stocking fillers, to higher price pointed gifts. Are you making it easy for your customers by merchandising into end user gifting? Gifts for Gardeners, Gifts for Foodies, Gifts for Him / Her, Children’s Gifts, Gifts for Pet’s, to name but a few. Christmas is a time when families get together, wrap up warm, and share magical experiences. Of course, that includes our beloved pets. Treat a furry friend and make them extra happy this Christmas!
Novelty gifting is also great fun at Christmas, from novelty slippers, to family Elf pyjama’s, to Santa handwash and even novelty tissue paper to have in the cloakroom for when guests are visiting. It is the one time of year you can go all out with decorating your home and celebrating with family and friends.
Displays in store are key at this time of year. Create inspiration and a lifestyle for customers to peruse and ‘buy into’. If selling decorations, and space permits, why not create a snapshot living room scene or dining space in store, that showcases your product for the customer to visualise what it will look like at home.
Make sure you are covered for all key products that your customers will expect to see. There are some real ‘quick win’ product lines to sell at this time of year, that if budget allows, will drive customers and cash through your store.
Home fragrance is key at this time of year – as we open our doors and welcome in family and friends, we want to create a feeling of warmth & ‘cosyness’ in our homes. This can be a fragranced candle, scented pine cones, or reed diffusers. Toasted Cinnamon, Cranberry & Vanilla are all key fragrances to create nostalgic memories and Christmas cheer.
Promotions – Gifting should be about buying a gift for someone special, but also to persuade the customer to self purchase. This can be done with running promotions on the build up to Christmas for example, buy 1 get 1 free. At such an expensive time of year, it is important to offer value to each customer.
New Year Wishes
New Year celebrations are often over shadowed by Christmas cheer, but it is still an opportunity as a retailer to offer product that your customers may not have come in to buy, but wont be able to leave without.
A one stop shop could include eco friendly alternatives to plastic plates, cups and straws with bio-degradable or reusable products. Help them celebrate in style!
As much preparation that goes into the golden quarter, it is sadly over before we know it. Consequently, it is important to think ahead and be prepared for the new year and January set up in store. Most retailers will go into sale from mid December on wards (suggested date Monday 16th December), to exit out of their Christmas stock in enough time to make way for any fresh new stock arriving in early January. Not all retailers follow this model however, and may wait until after Christmas to launch a boxing day sale, where all autumn winter and Christmas relevant stock is marked down before the Spring season arrives. As with all sales, make sure you advertise as much as possible to let your customer base know that you will be reducing stock. Keep displays neat and tidy, and refresh constantly to keep the offering exciting and different for your customers. All stock should be clearly marked with the sale price and sale bay’s clearly marked with ‘Sale POS’.
A wonderful addition to your product range while you are ‘in sale’, is personalised spinner gifting ranges. The reason for this, is that personalised gifting always drives cash – lower retailer price points, takes up little floor space and can easily be moved around the store to high footfall area’s, and personalised gifting is such a growing market. Something to consider when planning for the early new year.
You can benefit by invoicing through Bira Direct with a wide range of gifting suppliers, just click on the button below to view all of our gifting suppliers.