This past Sunday, American consumers lost an hour of daylight. But it’s not the only thing they will lost this holiday season. Because Thanksgiving falls on November 28th this year, shoppers will have just four weekends between Turkey Day and Christmas. For shoppers, this change means 26 shopping days– a mere 7 days shorter than the holiday shopping season of 2012. For retailers, however, the change is much more significant.
Losing a full weekend of shopping time will surely translate to larger crowds this season. The National Retail Federation has also projected a 3.9% increase in holiday sales compared to 2012, meaning that Americans are predicted to spend more in a shorter period of time. It is vital for retailers big and small to plan accordingly, taking time now to plan for the surge in store visits and purchases that are set to occur both in-store and online.
Busiest Shopping Days of 2013
During 2013, the busiest days of the holiday shopping season are predicted to be the following:
- 1. November 29th: Black Friday
- 2. December 21st: Super Saturday
- 3. December 22nd
- 4. December 20th
- 5. December 14th
- 6. December 23rd
- 7. December 26th (the day following Christmas)
- 8. November 30th (Saturday following Black Friday)
- 9. December 7th
- 10. December 28th
Additional Insights: Leading provider of retail and consumer analytics, ShopperTrak, predicts particularly big crowds for the final four days before Christmas Day.
5 Tips for Accident Free Holiday Shopping
As the saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Retailers have much to gain by taking time to prepare, including:
- Better customer service
- Cleaner shopping experience
- Maximal product and services sales
- Reduced incidence of accidents
- Protection from liability for slips, trips, and falls
Tip 1: Develop a Crowd Management Plan
An effective crowd management plan provides many benefits. By using crowd control systems, storefronts can effectively route and manage larger crowds in the most efficient way possible. This has at least two major benefits to consumers and businesses. First, it keeps customers organized and significantly reduces the possibility of hostile encounters while waiting in line. From a business perspective, crowd control queues make it easier and more efficient to service everyone, which ultimately translates to increased sales.
Tip 2: Get Creative with Sales and Promotions
While crowd control systems help to manage crowds that are already in the store, businesses can take additional measures to control the flow of customers before they even get to the store. For example, businesses can launch a sale that is accessible by ticket only, for which groups of tickets grant entry during specific times of the day. This effectively smooths visitor turnover, helping management to anticipate and plan for specific crowds by day and time.
Tip 3: Monitor Weather & Storm Developments
Of course, the holiday shopping season is almost always accompanied by inclement weather. Businesses must monitor weather systems and storm developments, taking care to keep parking lots, sidewalks, entryways, shopping aisles, and other heavily trafficked service areas clean, dry, and safe during all hours of operation.
Tip 4: Focus on Preventing Slippery Floors
According to American insurance company CNA, a majority of slips, trips, and falls are the result of poorly maintained floor surfaces. With this in mind, retailers are encouraged to follow these tips for preventing slippery floors during the holiday shopping season.
Tip 5: Invest in Safety Products
Finally, storefronts must proactively evaluate all safety products to ensure proper functionality. Now is the time to replace worn out floor mats, shifty stair treads, and other subpar safety equipment. We invite readers to shop Eagle Mat and Floor Products online to earn free shipping and a 100% price match guarantee on leading safety products this winter.