How should independents prepare for Black Friday?
Through a special arrangement, presented here for discussion is a summary of a current article from The Retail Doctor’s Blog.
While many small retailers maintain that Black Friday is for the big stores, customers will be visiting for one reason: The deal.
After visiting the big boxes, the deal lovers will check you out, so you’ll want to have one table in the back of your store filled with “I can’t believe it!” prices.
To prepare, spend October going through your merchandise to find:
- The orphans. Before re-ordering the must-have toy, accessory or tool, see if the market has moved on. Slash the price of the last few.
- The misfits. Got a demo product or one that was opened and has a piece missing? Put it on your sale table with a sign indicating “missing a part.”
- The returns. Didn’t get that otherwise fine item returned to the vendor on time for credit? Even without the cellophane or in a ripped box, slap a price on it and get it on the bargain table.
- The dogs. Sitting on complete lines that you ordered in the wrong color? “Special Purchase 60% off” and move them out.
If you don’t have enough merchandise to fill up your table, call up your better reps to see if they have a doorbuster item. We’re not talking container load, but just enough to round out your other items.
Place on your counter full-priced, small items under $10 with signage like, “For the one you’re bound to forget” or “Great for pet sitters, gardeners or yoga teachers.” Your goal is to get back some of the money you may be eating on your big deals.
In addition, be brilliant on these basics:
- Clean out your store. Down to the fixtures. Remove every box, bag or tag. Clean carpets. Mop.
- Repair, repaint and relight. Fix the chipped paint, broken furniture, yellowed signage, etc.
- Open up your floor. Create more space around items so they stand out.
Getting ready for Black Friday and the start of the holiday selling season isn’t hard, but it does take planning.
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: How should independents prepare for Black Friday and the deal-seekers that arrive during the holiday season? What Black Friday and holiday selling tips for smaller retailers would you add to those mentioned in the article?