For many retailers, Thanksgiving is one of the busiest and highest revenue producing times of the year. Here are some essential holiday planning tips that you can use for Thanksgiving and other holidays this year.
Early Promotions: Don’t wait to promote! Shoppers are planning early to avoid peak shopping days. Try dropping prices as soon as you can to entice shoppers. Communicate your promotions to customers through your marketing channels available to you such as: mailed flyers, dedicated email newsletters, and social media. Make it easy for customers to find this information. Provide menu ideas using your promotional items for added convenience.
Pre-Packaged Products: Demand for items that haven’t been overly handled by the public has continued long after the pandemic. Customers will be looking for pre-packaged and pre-bagged products. Consider packing products in-house if you have staffing available. Offer pre-cut packaged items of holiday staples like celery, butternut squash, and yellow onions.
Holiday Displays: Keep your displays creative and full of essential items! Order your pallets and half-pallets of key products ahead of time. Place larger orders with your Account Manager at least 2-3 weeks in advance to assure you will be well-stocked through the holidays. Key items to keep plentiful include: sweet potatoes, russet potatoes, hard squash, mushrooms, apples, cranberries, onions, green beans, Brussels sprouts, celery, carrots, persimmons, and herbs. Don’t wait until the last minute to secure what you need!
Pre-Made Holiday Meals and Sides: If you have a kitchen in-store, consider offering pre-orders for pre-made holiday meals or prepared sides in grab-and-go cases. Many customers will appreciate the convenience of these offerings.
Holiday Crowd Control: Consider the number of occupants in your store for your staff and customers to move around freely. Expect an uptick in customers during the holiday week and be prepared to manage the crowd or queue a line, even if this is not something you need to worry about on a regular basis.
Signage: When customers are trying to get in and out of stores as efficiently as possible, bright, eye-catching signage is a great way to get their attention and improve their experience. Highlight a farm or label, post product information, provide storage recommendations, or share recipes. addition to creating beautiful displays, signage is a great way to keep shoppers informed about operational changes during the holidays (extended hours, pre-order pick-up areas, etc.) and pandemic related safety protocols.
Storage: Assess your storage needs during the holidays. Will you need more dry space? More cold storage? Some retailers source a temporary refrigerated unit that will be placed outside to store turkeys and holiday overflow. Bonus: Customers will be able to pick up pre-orders outside, reducing the traffic inside the store.
Future Orders: The week following Thanksgiving tends to be quieter as customers recover from holiday festivities. Review your future produce orders with your Account Manager to forecast what you may need. Tip: Bananas are typically not high on shopping lists post-holiday and pre-orders may need to be reduced.