Preparing for Holiday 2018 [WEBINAR REVIEW]

Ray Hartjen
Ray Hartjen
Director, Marketing

While many are still enjoying summer and retailers are working through back-to-school, now is the time to plan for a successful holiday season – how prepared are you?

The holiday shopping season. Ugh.

It doesn’t take long for a retailer to develop a love/hate relationship with the end of the calendar year. The holiday shopping season provides gigantic opportunity for most brands – in the vast majority of retailing segments, Q4 brings in the biggest amount of sales.

Of course, with those increased sales come increased activity too, and holiday season is when veteran retailers work themselves silly.

It’s kind of a vicious cycle, but who are we kidding – we really wouldn’t have it any other way, now would we?

At its core, the holiday shopping season represents an opportunity, not just for a stellar close to the year, but for setting the foundation for a stellar year next year too. The key for a successful holiday season is preparation, and that was the theme of the latest installment of the RetailNext 2018 Webinar Series, Preparing for Holiday 2018.

Preparing for Holiday 2018 featured the insights of two RetailNext retail experts, Lauren Bitar, Head of Retail Consulting, and Rachelle Benson, Training and Development Manager.

First up, Lauren took stock of our current economic situation and the short-term outlook for the remainder of the year. Building upon that, Lauren looked back at the lessons learned from recent holiday seasons past. It’s with that foundation that the webinar took a long, hard look at holiday 2018.

Each year, the holiday calendar offers new opportunities and challenges, and it’s all right there for you to best prepare. Nothing should come as a surprise – it’s been in writing, literally, for years!

2018’s holiday calendar offers up 32 shopping days between Thanksgiving and Christmas, up one from 2017 and up two from 2016. Additionally, the calendar reveals a relatively early Hanukkah celebration, three full November weekends before Thanksgiving/Black Friday weekend and four full December weekends before Christmas. Aside from those opportunities, the calendar also holds a few challenges, like the day after Christmas falling squarely in the middle of the week on a Wednesday.

After Lauren set the stage, Rachelle took the reins and helped guide participants to put it all into practice, outlining a critical few strategies including staffing right for the holidays, direct your brand’s focus to products and shoppers, managing by metrics, hosting seasonal events and more.

Finally, the webinar wrapped up with a concise list of holiday 2018 dos and don’ts.

While most of us are still enjoying a hot summer, the time is now to plan for a successful retail holiday season. How prepared are you?

View Preparing for Holiday 2018 as a recorded webinar on demand, and be sure to check out the eBook, “A Retailer’s Guide to Holiday 2018.”

Join the #retail, #inspiringretail and #SmartStore conversations on Twitter @RayHartjen & @RetailNext, as well as at www.facebook.com/retailnext.