retail calendar and sales promotions

Integration in retail is essential between many departments and functions, quite often with very different agendas, objectives and awareness. There is no more disparity between essential stakeholders than in the planning, development and delivery of an all-encompassing retail calendar.

On the one hand the calendar needs to be creative and imaginative, connecting with customers on an emotional level inspiring sales through excitement, aspiration, desire, trust, reassurance and price satisfaction. Equally the calendar needs to be commercially based around the sales performance history and projection of the assortment plan, whilst embracing a sales promotion strategy maximising unit sales and protecting margin.

 

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The creation of the retail calendar must be completely collaborative involving every function from buying & merchandising to marketing, from commercial and sales teams to visual merchandisers and the process, this collaboration, must be continuous with regular meetings and workshops. Never was there such a test of the cohesion of the retail business as the retail calendar.

The raison for the very existence of the calendar is the fact that retail is dynamic and that physical stores are 4-dimensional with the 3 dimensions of real space driven by continuous change. As if to emphasize this the holy grail of retail store performance is time based. “Rate of sale” the speed that we sell our assortment is the lifeblood, in deed the heartbeat of all retail.

Turning sales into profit is the commercial consideration of the price promotional strategy – the priority to sell as many units as possible at full margin, and then secondly to simply sell as many units as possible.

For an effective promotional plan to maximise margin and profit is must be both proactive and reactive. When the season begins the battle for full margin sales begins with “Prime” promotions – messages and campaigns designed to promote and sell the virtues, the attributes, the unique selling points of every square metre of the assortment. As the season develops the in-season measurement and management functions must feed into the process the reality of actual sales performance, both better and worse than planned, and activate the need to employ promotional mechanics stimulating rate of sale but always with a miserly obsession for margin protection.

It is the responsibility of every commercial team to understand and appreciate the role and relevance of promotional mechanics such as multi-buys, single price initiatives and a whole myriad of gift and competition based possibilities to generate maximum sales and margin combinations, when the time is right for each.

The final act of the promotional strategy, the identification of poor sellers and the strong decisive actions to generate cash, clear space and learn for the future as the seasons develop into mid and end of season sales.

 

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Against this commercial backdrop the theatre of the emotionally driven, branded retail calendar must be planned and played, combining seasonal relevance with those “prime” promotional messages.

“The right message, in the right place, at the right time” necessitates the collaborative consideration of a number of criteria to condense the selling opportunities into a series of emotional events by month, by week, by day and by hour in this omni-channel, socially driven customer environment.

Historical sales patterns of categories and collections must be the building blocks of each months activities, integrated with a sparkling of newness and innovation. The regular events in the customers’ lives must be optimised for sales from Christmas to Summer Holidays, from the horrors of Halloween to the trials of Valentine’s Day, with the integration of occasional events such as sports championships, lifestyle events, culture and entertainment, as well as market and local opportunities.

There is no retailer in existence that makes so much money that they can afford to ignore the potential of combining appropriate product with relevant dynamic events.

 

Bringing together “appropriate” with “relevant” is what drives “sales” and “margin!”

With the plan in place the onus falls on the final collaborators, the space planners, visual merchandisers and store managers to deliver both the “prime” inspiration and the “price” promotions, precisely and dynamically into every store plan, whilst synchronisation and synergy is equally essential with the delivery of messages through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and e-mail, and every other appropriate channel of communication, engagement and product communication.

Customers are dynamic! Retailers must be active and reactive!

The speed of change is increasing exponentially. A retail calendar is not a luxury for any retailer, it is not even a necessity for all retailers, it is retail itself and the effective integration of all functions to bring together the beauty and the beast – the brand and the budget – is a serious challenge for every retail business.

Our expert workshops:
Retail calendar & promotional integration workshops:

VM-Unleashed’s 1-day workshop discusses all areas in the delivery of attractive & profitable stores through best practice retail calendar development and commercial price promotions and the integration between these functions.

It is personalised to the audience, to the sector and to the job function and objectives of the retailer team present, however most benefit is achieved from an attendance from across retail departments and essentially buying & merchandising, visual merchandising, marketing, space planning, commercial, sales and store operations teams.

The workshop process can also include a day of client store visits and discussions leading to a review in the workshop of the client’s stores, as well as reviews and reference to competitors and current international best practice stores. The workshop itself is a combination of visual stimulation and process insights.

Every workshop is written and delivered to be as relevant and productive for each client as possible including both individual and team exercises and discussions.

The typical agenda is as below, waiting your personal additions and requirements:

    • Modern principles of a retail Calendar
    • How to create a retail calendar
    • Channel strategy for core, occasional and new customer groups
    • Dynamic content development
    • Retailer inspired events
    • Seasonal event opportunities
    • Opportunist events
    • Impulse events
    • Promotions
    • VM and stores as part of the marketing calendar
    • The new product dynamics
    • Promotional calendars – prime & price promotions
    • Maximising sales, margin and gross profit with promotions
    • Appropriate promotional mechanics
    • Sales & markdown strategy and delivery

Different modules can be combined to create personalised workshops.

For more information:
tim.radley@vm-unleashed.com
+44 (0)7967 609849

 

Our specialist services:
Store Dynamics Audits & Analytics

“How do I assess whether and how to change the dynamics of my store proposition to stimulate rates of sale, through re-merchandising, space layout and events & promotions?”

Overview:

Detailed analysis of client store dynamics, within the wider omni-channel retail calendar, to assess the current weaknesses and opportunities to increase store performance KPIS through improved store changes.

    • Assessment of the relationship between dynamic store actions and KPI patterns in several client stores
    • Assessment of window and front 1/3rd store dynamics and KPI patterns
    • Assessment of the relationship spatially between store changes and directly related sales KPIs
    • Assessment of the dynamic relationship between the wider retail calendar and client store changes
    • Assessment of the consistency of timings/frequencies within a selection of client stores
    • Assessment on the quality of delivery and visual impact of dynamic store changes
    • Comparison of dynamics/frequencies with competitors/best practice stores

 

Benefits:

    • Identify the direct relationships between dynamic activities and KPI increase patterns
    • Identify the optimum dynamics and relationships of windows, first 1/3rd store, store interiors and web/social activity
    • Identify the best delivery elements/touchpoints for in-store dynamic changes
    • Identify the optimum timings/frequencies and duration of store dynamics
    • Plan the optimum retail calendar for maximum ROI with appropriate analysis

Process:

    • Selected client store visits and competitor visits
    • Audit and analysis of client/competitor website and key social dynamics
    • Interviews with HQ stakeholders including marketing, sales, store operations, VM and merchandising
    • Analysis of retail calendar with relevant stakeholders – marketing
    • Interviews with store staff and “snap-shots” of customer comments/reactions
    • Detailed analysis of store performance KPIs by product spatial grouping
    • Detailed KPI analysis of KPIs related to specific promotions and events
    • Client presentation workshop

For more information click the link
Store dynamics audits & analytics

tim.radley@vm-unleashed.com
+44 (0)7967 609849

 

Our specialist services:
Sales promotion, price promotion & seasonal event benchmarking

“How should I deliver the optimum strategy for my retail business on product price points, sales promotions, seasonal events and added-value messages, to drive required rates of sales whilst protecting my margin?

Overview:

Assessment of existing relationship between assortment price architecture, margin, sales promotions and impact on rates of sale and realised margin, set against a comparative market assessment on pricing and sales promotion mechanics and dynamics

    • Assessment of current sales/profit KPIs related to sales promotions and price architecture
    • Assessment of current effect of price reduction of rates of sale, margin and cash generated
    • Assortment review of key products – best & worst sellers, basics, price heroes
    • Realistic and realised margin review
    • Assessment of current omni-channel retail calendar and branding strategy against competitive market
    • Analysis and comparison of best practice competitors price and sales promotions strategy
    • Analysis of existing client loyalty programme, promotional mechanics and KPI impact
    • Comparative analysis of competitor loyalty mechanics and sales promotions

Benefits

    • Identify opportunities for entry and average price leverage
    • Identify margin capacity to absorb and support a variety sales promotions mechanics
    • Identify sales and promotional trends within the stores weekly, monthly and seasonal dynamic
    • Identify opportunities to leverage loyalty clubs and/or newsletter/sms initiatives
    • Identify best channel communication for sales promotions
    • Plan the seasonal retail calendar with integrated sales promotions
    • Identify the best in-store delivery of price and sales promotions

Process:

    • Analysis of existing price & sales promotions, loyalty club initiatives
    • Interviews with central marketing & merchandising heads
    • Analysis of sales performance and rate of sale KPIs
    • Best practice competitor analysis

For more information click the link
Sales promotion, price promotion & seasonal event benchmarking

tim.radley@vm-unleashed.com
+44 (0)7967 609849

 

Whether you are an established player, or a new kid on the retail block, we can probably help improve your efficiency, your expertise, your store delivery and of course your sales performance and profitability.

I look forward to hearing your questions, whether large or small.

Always expert and easily accessible.

Thank you.

tim.radley@vm-unleashed.com
+44 (0)7967 609849

 

 

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