Proactive Planning: Are You Ready for Black Friday?

With back to school season is upon us, that means most retailers have probably already started thinking about Black Friday. According to Statistics Canada, while stores associated with Black Friday promotions reported mixed results in November, with sales at electronics and appliance stores up 1.0% but sales at sporting goods, hobby, book and music stores down 0.3%, overall retail sales reached $45.2 billion in November 2016.

Last year many Canadians opted to remain north of the border, and with the Canadian dollar still sitting far below its American counterpart, that’s likely to be the case again this year. To get your piece of the pie, proactive planning is a great way to be ready.

Retail merchandising is always a good bet. Your sales may draw the consumer into your store, but the things you do to encourage sales will make all the difference. Play on the holiday season (it will already be in full swing by then) with sales that speak to shoppers looking to save on gifts. Make sure you have a strategy to ensure shelves are as well stocked as possible and that merchandise is cleaned up and looking good.

What about your employees? According to Consumer Intelligence Group, employees are not always reliable during this busy shopping weekend. Their research suggests that retailers can expect an increase in absenteeism for the Black Friday weekend. Last year’s predictions suggested 235,000 employees would be calling in sick and 2.3 million would be booking a vacation day (either to avoid the crowds or to do their own shopping). There is little evidence to suggest things will be different this year.

To compensate, be sure that you are covered. Instead of relying on your own employees, try using third party people support to ensure attendance. Those trained to deliver assistance, professionalism, and information are a good bet. This is a good way to keep customers happy, no matter how busy it gets on the floor or at the cash.

Don’t just stick to the traditional. Get digital with a plan that capitalizes on everything digital has to offer – whether you do ecommerce or not. Make sure that your social networks are prepped, that you’ve got a strategy to get the word out about sales going on, and that your platforms are being monitored closely for reviews and any negative feedback. Be sure to respond to these as soon as possible.

At Storesupport, we know how important Black Friday sales can be for your bottom line. With competition as fierce as ever, it only makes sense to get your retail merchandising plan in place quickly to be ready for anything. We can help. Get in touch today by calling 1-877-421-5081.

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