Week 1 / OCT. 3-8
Clienteling Review customer lists for the holidays. Plan a delivery of something special — flowers, bath soaps, homemade jam — to your best customers of the past three years to be made around Thanksgiving.
Events Finalize plans for special events. Confirm staff assignments.
Marketing What’s your wish-list strategy this year? Do you have a nonbuying ladies night planned? A flier? Are you on top of your POS wish-list functionality to track expressions of interest and follow-up?
Inventory Make up last-minute stocking stuffers — nature rock key chains? Eyeglass chains with beads, anyone?
Gift Wrapping Do a count of packaging, boxes and other wrapping supplies. Shop wholesale gift markets for holiday decorations. Internet Investigate what it would take to sell digital gift cards directly from your website. Gift cards get more popular each year, and young consumers don’t seem to have any issue with such digital gifts.
Week 2 / OCT. 10-15
Sales Expand your market reach to a new segment. See if there’s a holiday gift show planned for your area.
Marketing Invite some local fashion bloggers to come in and play with your holiday inventory.
Staff Temporary staff members should be trained and in place by the beginning of November.
Marketing Launch a holiday-specific email newsletter with specialized content and product offers. Prominently display “top sellers,” “our picks,” “top products,” etc.
Week 3 / OCT. 17-22
Marketing Let your customers know about your repair and redesign services — turning your customers’ tired old heirlooms into beautiful new styles is a great Christmas-gift idea.
Merchandise Clean your entire inventory and props. Display expert Larry Johnson recommends using Simple Green cleaner (diluted 50/50 with water) to lightly clean all leatherette displays.
Sales Your sales associates should have a story for every piece of jewelry in your store. Start testing them with pieces in your morning meetings. Internet Begin adjusting website content for the holiday season. Put Christmas into your titles and keywords.
Operations Does your store have a coat check? Look into setting up one. It will make customers more comfortable.
Week 4 / OCT. 24-29
Repairs Set cutoff dates. Put them on a sign behind the counter, in ads and on your website.
Operations Build a music playlist for the holidays that evokes the joy of gift-giving.
Inventory Ensure you’ll have sufficient inventory for last-minute holiday purchasers. Plan to ratchet up promotions for 11th-hour specials and products in order to attract this growing type of desperate shopper.
Training Focus on strategies to handle customers who “need to check with their wife first,” who say their mortgage is tying up their finances, or who “saw it on Blue Nile for less.”
This article originally appeared in the October 2016 edition of INSTORE.
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