How retailers can take advantage of the April holiday season

Over the coming three weeks of April retailers have an opportunity to make up the lost ground in sales from our quiet first quarter of 2017.

A unique alignment of the planets will give us our longest national holiday this year, thanks to a combination of construction and manufacturing unions combining several days of registered days off (RDOs), the movable feast of Easter landing in mid-April, and our unique ANZAC Day holiday falling on a Tuesday (which means lots of sickies on the Monday). Add to this that most of our Christmas credit card hangover is cleared, and we’re probably all ready for a festive end of summer buying binge.

So as retailers what do we need to do to make the most of this unexpected mini holiday?

Well the greatest thing about retail — owning retail and being in retail — is that it’s a hourly and daily business. We can react quickly to opportunities to entertain, delight and fulfil shoppers’ needs. See how the humble umbrella, on a rainy city day, leaps to the front of the store and triples in price from $7 to $23, to the delight of the lady with her hair newly done and the gentleman with his new jacket on.

So between Good Friday and sunset on ANZAC day, what should we be doing in retail to delight shoppers and increase sales?

  1. 1. Outside the store put out “sidewalk interrupters”. Stop shoppers as they walk by with a clear message as to what you have inside and what is on promotion today;
  2. 2. In the window, build bright new displays. Be your creative best. Make it an appetising display that will draw shoppers into your store;
  3. 3. In the centre of the store you need to stop and surprise shoppers with product ideas that make buying more than one item easy. Link this with a display and combine price a t-shirt and a long sleeve top, for example. Or an ANZAC cookie with ground coffee. What about a six pack, a lemon and a bottle of Verdelho, or organic dips and GF crackers? You know your products, pricing and your shoppers better than anybody else so link them together;
  4. 4. At the back of the store, clear stuff. Be big and bold with stacked and messy displays of very deep discounts. If it’s old or slow now, get rid of it because it will only get older and slower after ANZAC Day;
  5. 5. At the checkout be fast and efficient with impulse items. Nothing that costs over $10, weighs over 500g and that fits into a part filled bag; and
  6. 6. In the air around you, bring the store alive for your shoppers, and you and your store associates with sounds and smells. Spotify and candles are just fine. Fresh produce and product advertisements on screens are fine too. No sound and no nice smells is a no no.

Why do these six steps matter to traditional store owning retailers? Because not one of those classic and humble retailing tips can be replicated online.

Have a happy and prosperous Australian April holiday season.

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