The harvest is under way and it is looking good.

I like to call it The Harvest Season.  We plan, toil, build and prepare all year long for the next few weeks.  For the jewellery industry, holiday shopping will amount to 30-50% or more of yearly revenues.  And this year looks like it should be a good harvest!


Early starts

The Holiday season seems to start earlier every year.  The Hallmark television channel began promoting its holiday programming as early as August.  This year holiday shopping is getting off to an early start.  According to a survey by the National Retail Federation (NRF) around 40% of shoppers started shopping before Halloween, 41.5 will start in November and only 18.7% plan to procrastinate until December.

Spending and self-indulgence

This year should be one of the better ones we’ve seen in a while and that is welcome news, especially for jewellery retailers.  We have been through some difficult times and this year we can catch up a little. Consumer spending for the holidays is predicted to increase 3.7%.  73.1 % said sales or price discounts are the most important factor influencing their spending decision while 60.7% state the quality of merchandise is important.  Self-spending is on the rise.  55.8% said they will take advantage of holiday pricing to splurge on themselves.

Omni-channel is where it’s at.

Online presence is more important this year than ever before.  This will be the most connected holiday season in history.  Nearly half of the people, 41.6%, plan to shop online.   21.4% of smartphone users will use them to buy goods and nearly 38% will use them to research products.  Tablets will also play an important role with 47.5% using them for research and 34.5% will pull the trigger to buy.  However according to Signal, consumers will be going multi-channel with 67% switching between desktop, phone, and tablet platforms…and 98% will switch during a single day.  Bricks&Clicks…purchasing online for in-store pick-up; coupling inline pricing with rapid, convenient fulfilment is a growing trend.

Mark your calendars

Although every day from now until after the New Year is going to be vitally important, you should make note of the following days:

  • The 5 busiest traffic days of the season according to ShopperTrak will be Nov 27, Dec 19. Dec 26, Dec 12, and Nov 28.
  • Sales will be strongest on Nov 27, Dec 19, Dec 12, Nov 28, and Dec 5.

Use this schedule to plan your staffing schedules accordingly.  You don’t want to have a store full of shoppers and not have enough hands to take their money!

Pace yourself

Always remember: this is a marathon and not a sprint.  The next 2 months will be long and tiring.  Be sure to schedule some time off for you and your staff so that everyone will have the energy for the final push to the finish.

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