What Retailers Can Do After the Blizzard

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The news over the weekend was the big blizzard that occurred on the last weekend before Christmas. Shoppers in some areas stayed off the roads due to weather, in New Orleans and Dallas it was due to the big Cowboys-Saints match-up. Quick thoughts for retailers:

  • First, the event was short but no lingering affects. Roads are open. If you are a Main Street or downtown location, make sure everything is clean and free of snow, ice and slop - it has to look inviting as ever these next few days.
  • While it may have been painful to not be open your full hours, it is a level playing field; it was painful for your customers to not be able to complete their holiday shopping. You both need each other.
  • Now more than ever customers will be harried, hurried and possibly harpy. They won't have as much time to shop around so make sure to get "Their List" and see how many names you can help them cross off.
  • Consider using the hours you didn't pay employees this weekend, to stay open a bit later or open a bit earlier the next few days to help ease shopper anxiety. Update social media with what you are doing as well.
  • Start any seasonal clearance sale one day earlier and make it more substantial - you don't want any left after this Thursday.
  • Remember a lot of people held off shopping as they always do when Thanksgiving comes late and were caught off-guard that this was the last weekend before Christmas. Now with one less day, they might be upset so remind your crew to empathize with customers and get "Their List."
  • Remember guys are the ones you'll see more of.
  • You're welcoming them to your home- remember that. If anything, the demands for an exceptional experience have been upped because they have less options to shop around. When they do, get their contact information so the next disaster you can keep more of your loyal customers updated on what you're doing to help them get their shopping accomplished.

Now is not the time to try to discount your regular merchandise or try to come up with a new promotion - it's too late for that. You are selling convenience in the next few days so add-on to every sale; if you offer gift wrapping (even for a charge) make sure customers know, if you have a liberal return policy make sure customers know and whatever you do - get "Their List."