Strategic actions to drive results this holiday season

Halloween inspired

Halloween is a major retail opportunity, and one of the biggest trends in recent years has been to bring pets into the celebration with costumes, treats, and other unique touches.

Food and drug retailers can take inspiration from pet product retailers Halloween. Petco’s latest “Bootique” collection includes themed toys, treats and apparel, plus matching pet parent apparel. Petco is also promoting an LED collar and reflective vest to help keep dogs safe and visible this Halloween.

[Read more: Retailers retool loyalty efforts for new era]

Merchandising skills

A new research study from 84.51° – the retail media arm of Kroger – reveals that consumers are preferring to shop at physical stores for their main dishes this holiday season. As a result, 84.51° suggests a targeted approach to holiday merchandising to generate additional spend. This approach involves constructing in-store displays of related items located near entrances. The idea is to promote a grouping of main dishes and related items while offering a discount. It may not sound like a breakthrough idea, but it’s a proven strategy that makes sense.

Price and convenience

Last year’s holiday season provides hints of success this year, especially when it comes to price and convenience. Walmart has been successful during the 2021 holiday season in part by lowering the prices of grocery items relative to competitors. Other retailers can’t match Walmart’s scale and bargaining power over pricing, but they can selectively deliver value that drives sales.

Convenience is another big factor during the holidays, especially for consumers who put off shopping until late in the season. Last year, Walgreens promoted its ability to support last-minute purchases. Strategies included extended same-day delivery and Christmas Eve and Christmas Day pickup. This type of approach shows empathy for time-pressed shoppers and makes a retailer a destination for customers who need endgame solutions. Retail winners this holiday season will be those who surpass core competencies, such as price, convenience and merchandising. It may not sound like rocket science, but it does require very good piloting.

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