The year is already into its final quarter - and when you’re so busy managing your shop – thinking about the myriad of responsibilities to customers and suppliers - it’s easy to overlook that Christmas is fast approaching.
People of all ages love Christmas and it is the main Australian holiday season everyone looks forward to. With the advent of Covid-19 this year, many Australians have got used to shopping online. Australia Post is expecting parcel volumes to be exceptionally high this Christmas - so much so it is hiring 4000 additional staff, the biggest recruitment campaign of its 210-year history - to handle the pressure.
So as a retailer, you need to be ready and be sure to have the top holiday must haves. People will be early Christmas shopping, both in store and online, and you need to be ready to supply exciting gifts to give people a feeling of satisfaction.
Most commonly, consumers start to shop for Christmas decorations after Halloween, although some have already started in order to spread it out. For those early birds, September marks the beginning of the festive season and some even start playing Christmas songs just to get in the mood!
However, it does not matter much if people buy Christmas stuff in September or November. What matters most is that as a retailer, you are always prepared for what is in demand and one step ahead of your competitors.
Here are five reasons why you should consider stocking up on Christmas products early:
Reason #1 Full price: no reason to discount
Having Christmas stocks on shelf or in the warehouse early means you can sell your products at full price, without discounting. Consumers shopping now want to avoid the rush which only grows as December 25 draws near, and they are less price sensitive this far out. Discounts only come later when retailers have misjudged volumes of certain goods - or start to secure sales before the Boxing Day promotions begin. Discounts reduce your margins, so it’s important to get runs on the board early.
reason #2 The earlier the cheaper, the later the higher (supplier’s price)
When you order your supplies early, demand from the market is far from at its peak. That also means that the price is cheaper. But when you get your supplies late in the year (near Christmas), you can risk paying higher prices for goods in short supply or high demand. Some retailers order their Christmas products at the beginning of the year and keep them in storage until the right time to display the item comes. Of course, that usually only works with non-trendy items, but it helps improve margins if you don’t mind having free capital being tied up on shelf.
Reason #3 You get what you need, not what is left.
Stocking up early not only saves money, but you can be sure of being able to source what you want. There is no guarantee that you can get the exact Christmas products or volumes you want if you order them late in the year.
Reason #4 Longer time to arrange displays
Ordering in ample time gives you more flexibility in managing your merchandising and testing the popularity of lines, or on-line. When it is less busy than at the peak of the Christmas trading period, you have time to think of many options and test your theories.
Reason #5 Be ahead of the competition
Those who are ahead of the game get the best results. That goes with retailing as with any industry. If you stock up your Christmas products early - ahead of others - you can maximise your profits and draw more attention from buyers from your displays. The moment a person passes by your store, they will remember it and surely return when they are seeking inspiration for Christmas gift ideas.
This year has been a tough one for all retailers and businesses in general. But early indications are that people are looking forward to shedding the gloom and doom and to celebrating with family and friends as they look to forget a horror year and prepare to usher in a new one with fresh opportunities.
Make sure your business makes the most of this Christmas season!