| 03.19.2018

Retail ready for the holidays — Retail stores prepare for increased store traffic during the holidays


The holidays are a busy time for many stores. Retail stores in particular have special deals on holiday wear, as well as special packages only offered through the holidays.

Brianna Gottschalk, the assistant store manager of Old Navy in Moscow, said the past couple weeks have been slow compared to last year, but the 50 percent off all store items Black Friday sale was the usual frenzy.

Gottschalk said this year they hired a little less than 10 people for the holidays.

“We usually hire about 10-15 seasonal workers all of November and December who will be gone by February,” Gottschalk said.

The new hires will assist with increased store traffic.

Gottschalk said this year they have not done a lot of holiday decorating in favor of marketing.

“This year there has been a lot of marketing and signage wise, it’s crazy,” Gottschalk said.

Gottschalk said this year there has also been a strong focus on gift cards. The store has gift cards placed throughout with a large display by the checkout counter.

The push for the gift cards provides an option for people who don’t find something else throughout the store, she said.

The sales vary from year to year, Gottschalk said. This year there were sales during certain hours of the day.

“For example, pajamas would be on sale from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. and then coats would be on sale from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.,” Gottschalk said.

Sales disappear after Christmas but will resurface again during January, Gottschalk said.

“We will have a pretty good sale for New Year’s that’s targeted at different items such as active wear,” she said.

Old Navy isn’t the only store amping up for the holidays. Kimberly Lynn, manager of Rue21, said they started preparing for the Christmas in October when they began receiving a larger stock of items.

“We double the amount of stock we have until Christmas,” Lynn said.

Hiring for the holidays also starts around this time.

“We start hiring in October, and that goes until the end of the season. We will take them on as permanent employees if they perform well,” Lynn said.

Rue21 has several holiday packages only offered through the holiday months. Special nail polish packs and assorted perfume packages are common at this time.

This year, people can get rueBUCKS. These rueBUCKS act as monetary credit toward future purchases. If you spend $40 you get one rueBUCKS coupon, Lynn said. Each rueBUCKS coupon is worth $20 off a $40 purchase.

“The business during the holidays varies based on when the students leave,” Lynn said.

But Lynn said the busiest week for their store is closer to Christmas.

“The store gets crazy from a week before Christmas all the way to Christmas Eve,” Lynn said.

Returns and exchanges occur during the holidays but without too much deviation from normal exchanges and returns. Lynn and Gottschalk said the exception is the day after Christmas where a large number of returns at any store are common.

Kelsey Hart can be reached at arg-arts@uidaho.edu








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