1. Be over-prepared. Over hire seasonal employees. The holidays are not only the busiest time of year, but a time where the cold and flu goes around. You want to have enough on-call employees for this.
2. Be flexible. The holiday season is one of the most stressful times for management: remember to take care of your employees. Even though you have blackout periods, try to be flexible with your employee’s availability. A happy employee will work even harder for you because they want to. I remember I had to have a full staff on New Year’s Eve and Christmas Eve. I let the employees choose what night they’d rather work instead of making someone work Christmas Eve if being with their family was more important that getting ready to celebrate the New Year. I had a sign-up sheet at the back with 2 columns: 1 for New Years and 1 for Christmas Eve. I let the employees sign up for which day they’d rather work. I’m not saying do this, this is just an example of how I was flexible in a, what can be, a hectic time. My staff were all happy and we had a smooth run for the holiday season.
3. Reward employees for a good job or sale. If an employee makes an amazing sale, how are you re- warding them – besides the commission they may be receiving? I used to have a customer comment sheet in our back room and who ever got the most at the end of the week would be rewarded. You could buy a Starbucks card, or a MAC gift certificate to show my appreciation…these little gestures of appreciation mean so much to your employees.
4. Gift shopping. When a customer comes in to buy a gift, find out who they’re buying for and always suggest more items. If a guy is looking at a pair of gloves for his girlfriend, show him a coordinating hat and scarf, too! If a gal is looking for a dress shirt for her dad, a matching tie and cuff links would be good suggestions. Remember, shopping for gifts can be stressful and sometimes shoppers don’t know what to buy. The help of a sales associate will be appreciated and these types of shoppers are also more open to suggestions! Your sales associates are the experts – shoppers trust their opinion.
5. Add to the sale. Don’t let a customer go in with just one item. It’s not about being pushy. The customer doesn’t know the stock as well as you. Maybe a top they might love is hidden and they just didn’t see it. You also know what looks great on someone – as we know, many things look better off the hanger! Gauge the customer’s style and choose at least 2 other items you think they’d like. They’re already in the fitting room, what’s another few items? Is there a great pair of pants that would look good with the top and help sell it? Don’t forget to top off the sale with matching accessories!
*This tip is especially important for holiday party shopping! Customers will need the shoes, earrings and a purse to go with their dress.
6. Be passionate, excited….and remember to smile. It’s all about how you come across to the customer. Are you excited about the item you’re selling? This will make them excited, too. Choose items to add to the customer’s fitting room that you yourself love so your suggestion is genuine…”We got this really great top in yesterday and it looks amazing on!” or “I have this top myself and get tons of compliments when I wear it!”
Are you an employer? Post your fashion job here.
Are you a job seeker? Find fashion jobs here.