Most shoppers head to the supermarkets for the big Christmas shop, but this doesn't mean independent retailers have to be left out in the cold. It's a great time to grow your customer base, but it's essential to be prepared.
Make sure that you have everything a forgetful, sheepish looking family member needs to throw together a present in a hurry. Site gift bags next to wines and spirits, and put wrapping paper and tape near the chocolates. Look for Chocolate Baileys, The Famous Grouse, Martell Cognac, Ferrero Rocher, Roses and Heroes on offer at Booker.
The holidays are a great time for ad hoc gatherings. Make sure you have everything a host needs, including crisps, nuts and olives, frozen party food, and multipacks of beer and cider.
Need staples - can't face the supermarket crowds
More than five million people are expected to take the days between Christmas and New Year off work. This can mean fiendishly crowded supermarkets, shopping centres and sofa warehouses! A trip on foot to the corner shop can seem a lot easier, so woo new customers with staples such as fresh milk, bread, fruit and veg. Ensure you advertise your prices big and bold outside your store.
Communities in remote locations
If you live far from the cities and towns, you're likely to be a lifeline for your community, who would otherwise have to drive miles for a supermarket. Many of our customers who run rural stores take pre-orders from local people who know they will need to do a top up shop before New Year's. You can take payment in advance, and provide fresh goods when they need them.
Bad weather for driving
Statistically speaking, we're far more likely to see snow between January and March then in December, and temperatures are looking relatively mild this Christmas. However it can still snow in milder weather, and there are severe weather warnings for much of Scotland, with gales expected. Stock ice scrapers, de-icer and screen wash in store, and consider an advertising campaign encouraging customers to shop locally.
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