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Was Halloween Scary for Your Retail Business?

Nov 3, 2014 3 min

An Opportunity to Build Your Business

Yes it is that time of year again and Halloween is supposed to be a scary time, however, not for retailers. It could be a major opportunity to build your business.

Halloween has grown exponentially in recent years and is now a major “mini season” which like Christmas and Easter can drive sales of certain items. In the USA it is now the second largest retail event after Christmas. It may not be that large in Europe yet but it looks like it will continue to grow, if so you need to make sure you are the retailers seen as the one to go to at Halloween.

If you can catch it right and ride the sales it can be very profitable, as long as you also get out clean without lots of left over inventory that you have to sell off at a loss. Did you get it right and are you in a position to make sure you make it even more successful next year?

But how do you know what items are going to perform over this period? There are the obvious ones which are either specifically designed for Halloween but then there are other items which could have sold more if you were able to spot the trend. This is most especially true in food where fresh and short life items that are used for parties, BBQ’s etc lift in sales for a very short period.

Understand the Trend, Plan and Execute

It is at times like these that expert systems like supply chain optimisation inventory solutions come into their own. The state of the art modern solutions enable you to understand the trends, plan and execute most efficiently. This includes allocation of key items to ensure that stores build that all important additional stock at the right time and in just the right quantity. Getting it right can be a great additional boost to sales, and profits missing out could give business to your competitors and enable them to move ahead of you.

The same is true for all mini seasons and they all offer great opportunities. If you missed out on Halloween make sure you do not miss out on Christmas. If you do, then your business would miss its targets and shareholders would be unhappy, Halloween and an increasing number of other opportunities now enable a retailer to grow and be even more profitable. But you need the right tools – otherwise they can be just costly exercises losing more money in redundant stock than you make in additional sales. Many companies leave this sort of short season opportunity business to a manual process using their most valuable resource to “use their skill” to buy the right items in the right quantities. Using their knowledge is invaluable but giving them expert solutions to aid their planning and execution will undoubtedly be even better.

Don’t be scared to be the best, if you have the right solutions then you can win and not only in meeting your customers expectations making them happy loyal customers but exceeding them by being ready for even those special occasions. If you got it wrong at Halloween don’t be spooked be smart and change the way you handle your supply chain to optimise availability and inventory, deliver exceptional customer service and make your shareholders and owners very happy.

Have a look at Johanna’s white paper More efficient seasonal inventory management for tips on maximising seasonal sales and minimising residual stock and Tommi’s white paper on Tackling holiday horrors.

Written by

Andrew Blatherwick

Chairman Emeritus and Advisor