Holidays are notoriously busy times for grocery stores. Grocers prepare months ahead of time for Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, and the Fourth, as they will be packed for days, or even weeks, before the actual holiday. Knowing how to anticipate and meet your customers’ needs will make the difference between a successful holiday season and a lackluster one.
Most Commonly Celebrated Holidays
Wikipedia provides a list of the ten most commonly celebrated holidays in America, ranked by the percentage of people celebrating.
- Mother’s Day
- Fourth of July
- Father’s Day
- Valentine’s Day
- Patrick’s Day
- New Year’s Eve
All of these holidays involved food and beverage traditions, meaning that grocers will see an increase in traffic around these times.
Predict Customers’ Needs
Getting ready for holidays requires knowing what your customers need.
Know When Your Busiest Times Are
The most hectic days around each holiday can be different for every store. Examine your past years’ sales to know whether you’re most likely to have more customers the Monday before Thanksgiving or the Saturday before Christmas. A Grocery Dive brief found that the Wednesday before Thanksgiving brings a 70-90 percent increase over baseline traffic in several major grocery chains.
Know What Products Are Popular
While there may be variation among customers depending on your location, for the most part, the most popular products remain the same across the country. For example, ice, beers, hamburgers, and hot dogs are the most popular Fourth of July products.
Prepare Your Store
Once you know when and what to prepare for, you can start getting your store ready. Look at past sales in your POS System and take the current COVID-19 crisis into account to determine how you want to serve your customers.
With an increase in traffic, you’ll have an increase in sales. Make sure that you have enough inventory to cover the holiday rush. You can also place vendor orders ahead of time, to have items ready for early shoppers and to prepare if your vendor closes for the holiday. Keep a close eye on your merchandise throughout the days and weeks leading up to the holiday to re-stock or re-order items. Also make sure to keep track of your online orders effecting your inventory.
Many stores hire extra staff around their busy seasons. Even if you choose not to, ensure that you schedule more employees around your busiest times to prevent long lines and understocked shelves.
Having a good POS system can change everything for grocers around the holidays. A POS system can track your sales volume, whether per hour or per day, but the best systems will also accurately monitor your inventory. If you’re looking for an excellent POS system to help you out during the holidays, check out our software for grocers, by grocers.
- Preparation is key to having a successful holiday season.
- Use past data to predict when your busiest times are.
- Know what the most popular products are.
- Ensure that your inventory is well-stocked, especially for high demand items.
- Be ready to hire extra staff if needed and schedule more employees for the busiest times.
- Operate within the safety guidelines on COVID-19 provided by your local authorities.
- With a good POS system, you will be able to monitor your inventory and traffic successfully.
- Knowing how to prepare for holiday crowds will help you become a successful grocer. If you’re looking for more tips on how to shape a thriving grocery store, subscribe to our blog.
George Goodwin is the Marketing Director at ITRetail