Vend’s 2016 Holiday Retail Boot Camp Day 12: Engage Last-Minute Shoppers



A common holiday tactic among big box stores? Extended holiday hours. Last year, for example, Kohl’s was open for 100 hours straight on the days leading up to Christmas Eve, and Toys “R” Us was open for 87 hours nonstop. Similarly, Macy’s, Best Buy, and Nordstrom extended their business hours during the last three weeks of December, with some stores opening as early as 7:00am and staying open as late as midnight.

Should you follow in their footsteps? The best way to answer this question is to observe foot traffic patterns at your location. If you’re using an in-store retail analytics tool (e.g. people counters), pay attention to the times when customers are entering and leaving, then compare the data with the “regular” season (i.e. non-holiday). Doing so will help you figure out the times when you should open and close.

If you don’t have people counters in your store, then just make it a point to be more observant. Do you see a bunch of customers waiting outside before you open your doors? Ask them how long they’ve been there, then consider moving your opening hours to that time. Are shoppers begging to stay when you’re about to close up? If so, then you should consider staying open until a later hour, at least during the holiday season.

And don’t forget to track your sales during your extended holiday hours. Look at the numbers and determine if your revenues offset the costs of keeping your doors open for a little longer. If not, you may want to readjust your holiday business hours or find ways to increase sales.

Whatever you decide, make sure you promote any changes in your hours to your customers with in-store signage, online promotions, and an email blast. The last-minute shoppers will thank you.

About Nikki Michaels

Nikki is Vend's content and copy wizard. American-born and Auckland-based, she's into reading (a lot), writing (obviously), and travelling (always).