Did Thanksgiving Sales Hurt Your Christmas Sales?
It's time to take a hard look at selling Thanksgiving decorations, gifts, and cards. Review the numbers without worrying what customers or staff would think if you cut back on Thanksgiving items. Examine four figures: the cost of goods, total sales at full retail, sales at a discounted price, and final carryover (in dollar amounts). Next, take a look at the space used for the Thanksgiving items. If your numbers balance out, then stop reading and carry on. But before you go, keep in mind that it has been a long while since Christmas shopping started the day after Thanksgiving. The majority of your competitors have had Christmas items on their shelves since early October. Hallmark likes to put Christmas ornaments on the shelf by mid-August! Is the amount of space used for Thanksgiving delaying your entry into the Christmas selling season?
Study the space used for your Thanksgiving clearance event that is typically set up for Black Friday, the biggest shopping day of the year. Let's face it: the colorful turkey-themed deviled egg dish marked at half off on Black Friday is little competition for the mega sales that will be exploding nearly everywhere that day. At the very least, limit your Thanksgiving clearance sale—four days are plenty. The longer the discounted Thanksgiving items stay out on the shelves, the longer Christmas items have to wait and fight for space in your store. Ask yourself: "Am I making any money selling Thanksgiving-themed items? Can I sell more Christmas items if I displayed them earlier in the season?" In 2017, keep the tradition of celebrating Thanksgiving; just be open-minded about changing the selling season.
— Gabe Trahan, NCPA Senior Director of Store Operations and Marketing
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