Once again, we come to the holiday season, a deeply religious time that each of us observes, in his or her own way, by going to the shopping centre of their choice.” – Dave Barry

Throughout 2014 I have concentrated largely in my Inside Retail articles upon the structural issues that in many ways, addressing the composition of a customer’s motivation, strategic context, and the retail environment both present and as far as it can be seen, the future.

Now that we move into the last eight or so days before Xmas, with more than 85 per cent of us shopping in the physical retail channel and with fit retail business on full alert for as many sales as can be achieved,  have decided to take it back to the adage that after all, retail is a game of detail.

So in the last eight days before Christmas, here are some practical in the shop business fitness tips.


Increase staff hours. This is not the time to reduce hours, it’s about maximising sales opportunities.

Ensure your staff are congregating around the customers not the register.

Ensure your gun sales staff are refreshed and ready to play in the grand final of retail.

Have daily start up meetings to drive the sales goal for the day.

Have staff targets with daily prizes for outstanding sales.

Lift your sales and service measurements and rewards.

The customer

Have mystery customer rewards.

Where possible, capture customer data (simplify the process and capture the highest customer flow).

Put a promotional bag stuffer in each bag. Give them a reason to visit you in Jan/Feb or at least your online shop.


Have some fun with a Christmas theme for staff uniforms.

Do the morning store set up the night before.

Have specialist people within the team do the non-selling store set up and have sales people selling.

Ensure all new employees are ready to sell and know their stuff.

Have back up staff plans to support your busiest stores in case you need to send back up in.

Have a person selling and one processing sales (Christmas time only).

Send out a daily email highlighting the best staff performance to keep up motivation.

In your busiest stores, place a meeter/greeter at the door.


Make sure you have emergency backup contacts for all IT systems and back up processes in place in case of breakdown.

Make sure that all your processes are well understood and as quick as they can be.


Conduct a daily check on stock levels and have instant back up on your lead lines.

Do competitive product and price checks daily on comparable lead lines.

Have your between stores stock transfer person and system tuned to go.

The product and presence

Change the hero story in your windows daily (or at least every second day).

Range your assortment with plenty of add on opportunities strategically positioned.


I hope that this helps you in putting a few extra customers and dollars in the till.

On behalf of our team at Retail Doctor Group and RDG Insights, we wish you and your loved ones a wonderful Xmas period.

Happy Fit Retailing

Brian Walker