Stores Strategies to Survive Holiday Season

By Michaela O’Malley / Special to Viewpoints

By Michaela O’Malley / Special to Viewpoints

To shop retail or not to shop retail? That is the question.
The holidays are quickly approaching which means retails stores are preparing for the busiest time of the year. Retail stores will prepare for checkout lines to be out the door and for the sales numbers to turn from red to black. Or at least that’s what they hope for.
But this holiday season is going to be different. Many people are out of jobs and struggling to make ends meet.
 
So what will stores do to bring people in for holiday shopping during these tough times? Will it be customer service, featured items or just positive thinking?
 
Lanai Marino, local Starbucks manager, said “Specialty holiday drinks such as the Eggnog Latte and the Peppermint Mocha will only be offered during the holiday season so we hope to bring people in that way.” Starbucks will also be selling Christmas coffee blends for people to buy as gifts.
 
When asked what makes your store a better place than your competitors Marino responded without hesitation, “Our customer service.” Marino said, “Starbucks is known for their customer service and enthusiasm.”Marino also said,” Our customers know they will get great customer service and a great product.”
 
Monica Lackowski, manager of Forever 21, has a different technique in store for bringing customers in to shop for the holiday season. Lackowski said, “We receive shipments daily giving the store a fresh, modern look all the time.”
 
There are so many retail stores to choose from for young women and men’s clothing.

Lackowski stated, “The cost is what is really going to bring people into this store. People can stay with all the hottest trends for a fraction of the cost.”
 

Active Ride Shop, a store specializing in skateboards, snowboards and apparel, has much preparation planned to bring people in for holiday shopping. Store manager, Jason Semple, said “A six week sale plan is already in the works. The six week plan contains pre Christmas and post Christmas sales.”
 
Semple emphasized that snowboards and snowboarding apparel are items that the store will push the sale this holiday season.
 
“What’s going to bring people into our store and keep them coming into our store for holiday is our variety and customer service.” said Semple. “Customer service is our main priority. We want people to have a positive experience when shopping in our store.” Semple also stated, “Active is one of the only strong standing skate shops in the area” which he hopes will also bring more people into shop.
 
Heather, a sales associate at Borders book store, seemed very certain in the strategies that Borders will use to bring consumers in the store for holiday shopping. “We will be offering weekly specials such as buy four books and get the fifth free.”
 
Heather also emphasized, “Borders is a one stop shop. We have gifts for everybody on your list.”
 
When asked how you will bring your online shoppers on to your site to shop, Heather responded by saying “We have access to our online store in store. We have sales associates to help customers will anything they need and we also offer free wireless internet.”               
 
Heather also said that Borders is a better place to shop than their competitors because,” we have had so much training for customer service and that’s a priority for us. We have very high standards and we always have enough people working so every customer has the help they need.”
 
Each store has its own strategy for busiest shopping time of the year. But how busy will it be this year during such difficult economic times? Every sale will count this holiday season. Who will you buy into?