Holiday Decor and You: Putting a Festive Face on Your Retail Space

Subtle holiday music, garland, warm and rich colors and sales you can’t pass up: just a few of the unmistakable signs the holiday season is approaching. For retail proprietors, the arrival of winter means a chance to ascend firmly into the black, as holiday spending can account for 20-40% of yearly income. Holiday displays and decor can help create a nostalgic, giving feeling in shoppers that tends to put them in a buying mood, but your efforts can backfire – overdoing the holiday cheer can put people off, and a haphazard, ill-thought-out implementation is stressful for employees. Get the seasonal festivities off to the right start with these tips.

Plan ahead. A holiday display cannot be left until the last minute. You need to have a solid plan not only for arranging the decorations themselves but for deploying the display quickly and efficiently. Depending on the size of your retail space and the extent of your display, it might be worth the money to hire a professional decorator – if you depend on your in-house staff to do it, you’ll either be asking them to stay late (and paying for extra hours) or having them forgo actual productive work in order to hang lights and assemble displays.

Hold an event. Don’t stop at just arranging decorations. Use your holiday decor to create a themed sales event to draw in first-time visitors and regulars alike. For instance, if you’re putting up a tree, invite local grade schoolers to sing carols around it or hold a tree-lighting ceremony. Think about the themes represented in your decor and how you could carry those same themes in a sales event.

Alert the media. An especially noteworthy arrangement of lights and decor not only draws the eyes of shoppers, it could also draw the cameras. Plan a captivating display and let local news stations know about it or send a photo to your community newspaper. If local media picks up on your holiday spirit, that puts your establishment front and center in front of viewers, who may drop by to check it out in person and check out your wares while they’re there.

Create seasonal sales. Over 35% of shoppers make holiday purchases before Thanksgiving, so the onus is on you to avoid waiting until the last minute to push holiday gift sales. The key to seasonal selling is a sense of urgency – have the sales run for a limited time to persuade buyers to go ahead and purchase the item they’ve had their eye on. Add eye-catching “special holiday price” signage around a specific product you’d like to push to create extra hype and coordinate the sales signage with your general holiday decor theme so everything looks consistent and harmonious.

Avoid obvious corner-cutting. You don’t have to go to extreme ends to outfit your store with seasonal decorations, but avoid relying on cheap paper or plastic ornaments or other obvious dollar store purchases. You also want to weed out any old decorations that are damaged or just dated-looking – it’s not “vintage” if it looks like you scavenged it from a yard sale.