* Last Minute Holiday Planning: 25 Tasks You May Have Missed *

With all the focus on inventory shortages and hiring challenges, these 25 holiday-prep tasks may have been overlooked.

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Don’t Forget These 25 Holiday-Prep To-Do’s!

Boy there are a bunch of distractions for retailers (and our vendors) this year, with inventory shortages and staffing challenges at the top of the list. Most of you are probably consumed with trying to address these issues, along with building your marketing programs, planograms, and other major tasks for the “season”.

Given this, it’s reasonable to think that some of the basics of preparing for the holidays may have been overlooked. So, here is a reminder of 25 tasks that I would classify as “blocking & tackling” which need be be addressed pretty quickly.

  1. Add Extra POS Registers Early: everyone is hyping “shop early” because of the looming product shortages. If consumer follow that guidance and have all of your holiday registers set up and ready to operate.

  2. Increase Your Petty Cash: petty cash needs to increase to support both the additional registers as well as simple change-making at peak shopping times.

  3. Stock Up on Store Supplies: receipt paper, bags, shipping boxes & labels (if you ship from store), cleaning supplies, etc. Do it now before it gets busy.

  4. Let There Be Light: dark, dingy stores don’t help sell product. Replace dead/ dim bulbs as well as dead ballasts now. Be sure you have extra bulbs as well.

Subscribe now to read the remaining 21 tasks…

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Grocery Delivery Benefits from Pioneering Tech Automation; How About Other Types of Retail?

We all know the delivery industry has grown significantly in recent years. Offline stores started to switch online. There are new services that are available exclusively online. Many retailers are leading the way offering customers immersive online experiences. Zara added a virtual reality functionality to their app showcasing models presenting new collections. Nike launched a technology that allows their clients to customize orders: one can create their own shoes and choose where they want to have them delivered. The pandemic made it clear that companies that were able to quickly switch to a remote-only format had a competitive advantage. One way to ensure a successful transition to online could be through automation of the order fulfillment process.

So how do you carry out this automation? First, you need to look at how your business functions and what areas would benefit from automation. If route planning tends to take up a lot of time, couriers are frequently late, and you feel like resources are not being properly allocated, then automation may be a necessary tool to solve those issues. When the number of orders increases, so do the stakes: you must handle that influx while still providing excellent customer service and delivering quickly.

There are currently two models commonly used to map out delivery. The first one is a regular one where orders get sent out from warehouses and the delivery time window is two hours and more. In this situation, you can let clients pick from a wide range of products while planning the delivery in advance and keeping operational costs low. This is a classic where the warehouses are located somewhere out of town, in the outskirts, and orders are taken a day or so before the actual delivery takes place.

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What Do You Think?

Per Yahoo Business: Supply chain slowdowns and rising freight costs have impacted the retailer’s ability to profit while keeping prices at $1 across the board. As such, Dollar Tree’s latest price change announcement represents a response to the current economic environment, Dollar Tree CEO and president Michael Witynski told The Wall Street Journal. “Our brand promise is that customers get great value for what they spend at Dollar Tree,” Witynski said. “We will continue to be fiercely protective of that promise, regardless of the price point, whether it is $1.00, $1.25, $1.50.”

With that, Dollar Tree is no longer a single price point retailer. Many will say this was a long time coming. Five Below, in fact, broke their $5 barrier several years ago.

Here is the question: does raising prices to $1.25 or $1.50 feel more like a price increase than say, adding new items, or existing items in new sizes, at $2, $3, or a multiple price like 2/$3?

Given consumers have few product options at $1.25 or $1.50, my sense is they will continue to buy from Dollar Tree in the near term. I am less confident that Dollar Tree’s value proposition will remain as strong as it is now if customers continuously have to purchase the exact same items in the exact same sizes for 25% or 50% more.

What do you think?

Retail News You Can Use:

More Consumers Plan to Trick or Treat vs. Halloween 2020, Numerator Reports

It seems like this should be a given, re: Covid in 2020. The real question is how far below 2019 will we be?

Bain: 2021 Holiday Shopping Outlook

I continue to struggle with these bullish forecasts given the worsening inventory availability situation. I certainly hope I am wrong!

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Quotes of the Week:

“When opportunity comes, it’s too late to prepare.” - John Wooden

“The key is not the 'will to win'...everybody has that, It is the will to prepare to win that is important.” - Bobby Knight

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