Home » Get Ready for the Holiday Season — Tips for Grocers on Preparing for the Busy Months Ahead

Get Ready for the Holiday Season — Tips for Grocers on Preparing for the Busy Months Ahead

By Published On: October 4, 2022

According to a quote from Benjamin Franklin, “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail!” This saying holds true and resonates with all of us, not just in our personal lives, but also in business and commerce. This is particularly true in the food retail industry which is composed of an interconnected web of business elements — planning and preparation are vital to success.

In the next few months, the industry will once again face its busiest season of the year, and grocers are encouraged to start gearing up for it now. Is it too soon for grocers to prepare? The succinct answer to that question is no! Considering the current situation with food retailers dealing with the supply chain shortage, inflation, and the post-effects of the pandemic, early preparation is critical.

Before we know it, the holiday season will be here, complete with giving thanks and singing Christmas cheers together with our families and loved ones. Here are some ways that grocers can effectively prepare for the holidays:

Forecast and Manage Inventory

Proper inventory, having the right products in the right quantities, is the bread and butter of any food retail store. That is why forecasting and managing it properly are key, especially during the holidays. Due to the difficult challenges, we are currently facing in the industry, we don’t know for sure how the supply chain will play out this year. Anticipating that there will be a high demand for seasonal favorites, such as holiday pies, turkeys, and beverages as is usual, it is best to order them in advance to make sure you have stocked shelves in the coming months. Forecasting will be a key tool for grocers to fulfill customer demands as it is also expected that Christmas shopping will start earlier this year. Customers will be fulfilling their needs in advance to beat any inflation-driven price increases as well as take advantage of any discounted items. This should trigger retailers to start their holiday promotions and campaigns earlier, either online or in-store, to catch the attention of customers who are already coming up with their holiday shopping lists.

Keep Equipment in Check

From refrigeration systems to display cases to point-of-sale (POS) systems, preparing store equipment is another way for grocers to effectively gear up for the holidays. The last thing you need is to have key systems failing you during the busiest days of the year, right? Ensuring systems and equipment are running smoothly and efficiently should be prioritized by grocers during these times. For display cases, it is important to have the appropriate case for the intended product and merchandising plans. This is particularly true with temperature-sensitive products, like meat and seafood, to assure food integrity is preserved, and waste is avoided. As for refrigeration systems, using the most suitable equipment to provide proper levels of cooling for all the store’s needs is of the utmost importance. Assuring that all refrigeration systems are well maintained and properly cleaned is essential to success.

Know What’s Trending

Despite the usual and traditional holiday favorites, it is important to know what the latest trends will be during this year’s holiday season to attract shoppers and gain their dollar spend. Beyond just having trendy and picture-worthy foods, capitalizing on in-store design trends and other promotional initiatives are key to maximizing sales. At the same time, e-commerce platforms will play a significant role this holiday season to fulfill orders of young and digitally savvy consumers. So, ensuring that the e-commerce sites work seamlessly during these busy months can have a significant impact on the retailer’s bottom line.

Indeed, when one fails to plan, one plans to fail. As we are nearing this holiday season, and demands on the industry begin their rise, proper preparation is the only way the food retail industry can meet its needs. The challenges ahead may be difficult, but the future favors the ones who are truly prepared.