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Take a fresh approach to maximize holiday sales

How were your Christmas produce sales and gross profit last year? From what I heard around the industry, many supermarket directors and produce managers enjoyed amazing results, with some even breaking sales records. It seems just like yesterday we were all celebrating such feats.

Now another holiday quickly approaches and the fun will start all over again, with a new sales and gross budget for this Christmas. In other words, you have to beat whatever achievements or records were reached over last year.Unique-Holiday-Display---Worlds-Largest-Fruit-BasketOne smart retailer created the world’s largest fruit basket as a way to boost holiday sales.

So, how will you do it? The tug-of-war between competitors means it will be difficult for everyone to achieve record sales. That’s why it is imperative to avoid doing business as usual. In order to experience a better showing in results, you will need to tug harder on the rope to pull in more sales. Those sales will have to come from pulling them away from your competition and that won’t be easy. Your competition has a similar plan of attack in tugging those sales in their direction.

How are you going to accomplish securing a sales increase if everyone has the same objective? Just having the same sweet potato display as last year won’t be sufficient. After all, every competitor will have sweet potato displays as well.

Here are some tips to help maximize produce sales and earn the profit dollars to beat last year:

Do a review
Look back to what you did last year, not only in sales numbers but in merchandising strategies as well. What display arrangements were successful or unsuccessful? What items sold best? Could you have sold more of any items? Set goals for big-dollar volume items. You’ll have to sell more product this year to surpass the previous Christmas holiday.

Change your routine
Do not sell with a simple run-of-the-mill presentation, which could result in sluggish sales. Be different than your competitors. Avoid placing all the traditional holiday items bunched together on one big display at the produce department entrance. Position them in several distinct areas in the produce department. This forces customers to move around in the department and can influence the purchase of other additional items. Always merchandise high-profit items alongside the basics.

Be unique
Times have changed. The new generation of shoppers likes to see something novel and unique. Set up a target holiday display that captures the immediate customer attention as they enter the department. Make it a real conversation piece of a display. Position it right up front for high visual impact. Browse the Internet for ideas. Be very creative and have some fun doing it.

If you are in charge of developing the Christmas ad, try not to include every item that is common to the holiday dinner table. Shoppers will buy them anyway regardless of price. The front page of the ad is the main focal point. One or two hot promotional items should be sufficient to draw customers. The inside ad items should carry the profit. There is no reason to give the house away during Christmas.

There is no need to lower retails during the holidays. People spend lots of money during the Christmas shopping period, and they will buy what they want and are willing to pay the price. Rely on that front page hot ad item to draw them to your department. This is the opportunity to generate gross profit.

Have every employee talk up sales and recommend additional items to shoppers over and above those in their carts. Focus on displaying items together that assist in selling one another. Most customers like employees to make item suggestions, which encourages shoppers to purchase additional produce. Give them a positive, friendly sales pitch.

The main Christmas shopping window this year will be between Dec. 18 and Dec. 24. It will account for major produce sales, so be ready to sell differently to beat last year. Customers are more likely to buy on impulse during this period, and you can achieve your budgeted goal only if you are different and employ upselling techniques.

The primary goal is for everyone to get excited and be enthusiastic about selling. This is the way to beat last year’s sales.