Look for last minute shopping to be off the hook this year. With consumer confidence dipping to record levels, unemployment at the highest levels in a decade and bad news everywhere, this holiday season will be flat over last year but the last minute shopping will see a major upsurge.
Bad news basically just causes people to put off purchasing as long as they are able to. When they look around at their loved ones and realize they haven't bought them anything yet watch them race to the internet and to stores for last minute "guilt" purchases. Recession or no recession it is very difficult for people to not give. The basic nature of man is generosity and care for others! A bad economy reduces expendable income but does not reduce the amount of love people have for one another. It is this time of the year that people exchange gifts with friends, family, relatives and loved ones as a way to show love and appreciation. And in the last days and hours people will start to feel obligated to do something at which point they will race the clock to get to the retailers!
What this means for retailers is you need to keep your people on point all the way through to the last minutes you are open. Prepare your sales people to sell. Disregard the budget issue, everyone is on one and everyone exceeds it. Now is the time to be sales driven not market driven. Now is the time in these last hours before Christmas to maximize the opportunity with good attitudes, second sales and real sales skills. The last minute gifts are not always the cheapest ones and may be where retailers exceed the grim predictions of the Grinch's of Media! The winners this Christmas and through all of 2010 and probably 2011 are those organizations that disregard the bad news, the complaining, the moaning and groaning and figure out how to become sales driven not market dependent!
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