Christmas planning

With still over 100 days left until Christmas, retailers are gearing up for the most important sales period of the year.

Already the high street has started to feel festive as Selfridges unveiled its London Christmas store in August and the nationwide launch is scheduled for early September. Matalan was among those who have launched their dazzling new Christmas ranges and there’s no doubt the stocking of festive cards and gifts will continue to gain momentum.

Here are our top three tips for getting Christmas retail planning right:

  1. Integrated advertising is more important than ever

There will be plenty of iconic Christmas TV adverts heading our way this winter, with high expectations for the main supermarkets, perfume brand and departments stores including the nation’s favourite, John Lewis.

While TV remains the best media channel to efficiently reach the mass market, content led campaigns with an emphasis on social sharing and advertising will help engage audiences and create impact.

The campaign also needs to extend and breath life into the physical retail experience. Give shoppers an added-value reason to go in-store. Consider offering Christmas gift personal shopping services or holding gift-wrap lessons or festive cookery demonstrations.

  1. When it comes to weather, plan for the worst and hope for the best

The UK hasn’t woken up to widespread snow on Christmas morning since 2010 – could 2017 be different? Will we get a picture-perfect White christmas this year?

While people always wish for snow on Christmas day, it will play havoc for some retailers if it remains for Boxing Day and onwards.

Ensure you create deployable contingency plans to take account of weather changes. Consider increased demand on your e-commerce and regional variations.


  1. Don’t overlook the impact of Black Friday

Increasingly the single biggest day for sales, Black Friday has grown in the UK each year and this year’s event on 24th November is expected to see the largest sales ever.

Shoppers are aware of the potential bargains to be had and expect retailers to join in this new tradition. While Black Friday and Cyber Monday cover two days, it is becoming increasingly common for offers to run across an entire weekend or even into the week.

Retailers need to provide compelling promotional offers that stay true to their brand values without cannibalising the Christmas and January sales period. Consider specific offers over blanket reductions to help control the sales period.

Get in touch if you need advice on Christmas planning and campaigns.