Jeet Bansi, one of our seven expert retailer columnists, explains how you can avoid missing out on seasonal opportunities.

As retailers we are all looking to maximise sales opportunities and capture sales from the mults. Planning ahead is essential if we are to gain increased footfall and sales. It is essential that in these tough economic times that we do not miss out due to being under prepared.

For us, Valentine’s Day is not as big as Mother’s Day, but we still created a small display at the front of the store.

We merchandised for the occasion on February 3 so we had plenty of time to tell our customers about our offers and capture impulse purchases of boxed chocolates, bottles of prosecco and Love Hearts.

A lot of the sales that we pick up from Valentine’s Day are distress purchases and many are on the day. We have a local florist who we use for our flowers and we adjusted our range for Valentine’s Day.

Next up is Pancake Day. We have already planned a display and will cross-merchandise eggs, lemons and other pancake ingredients. By using PoS we will tell shoppers that we also stock ready-made fresh and frozen pancakes.

We’ll also do something similar for Mother’s Day. The key again is to plan ahead. You might not gain any extra sales initially, we have found it takes a couple of days to new offers and displays to start working.

Easter is another big occasion for us and great to capitalise on impulse sales to increase basket spend. Ensure you don’t get caught in thinking one size fits all. Shoppers are savvy and want the best value for money.

My four top tips:

  • Planning is key – engage with your staff to ask what their views and opinions are. This is a great opportunity to bond and empower them to come up with ideas and see the results.
  • Communicate your offers simply and clearly.
  • Drive impulse sales. Placing products by the till and also by cross-merchandising.
  • Evaluate what you have done and make a better plan for next year.