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It's The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

It's that time of the year ... You can almost hear the palatable sound of stress levels rising around you as everyone is not only wondering if they have been naughty or nice but also counting down the days till the end of their working year.  Not for those of us in retail world though, we are just hitting our sales stride.

We love Christmas, being in retail we wish Santa came more than once a year, the sight of full stores, customers struggling under bundles of parcels, the eftpos machines groaning under the pressure of Kiwi's rushing to complete their shopping ... It's enough to bring a tear of joy to the eye.

But the Christmas campaigns run by retailers small and large, and all those in-between, leave us feeling well, meh…and we do wonder…

  • Why do our big box retailers dress up their normal discounting as 'Christmas Specials', We are pretty sure the same specials come St Stephen's day will be 'Boxing Day' specials
  • Where's the Omni-channel Christmas promotions? We want to have the same offers available no matter how we choose to shop.  We don’t want to go all the way in store on a busy shopping day, only to have the salespeople utter – oh we don’t have that in store, or that’s an online special only…Give your in store retail teams the opportunity to shine by delivering on the full experience!
  • Why are you sending us 3 catalogues a week - enough already! We are clearing the letterbox twice a day with the flyers crammed in, most of which goes straight to recycling. Not to mention the Christmas email inbox.  Don’t get us wrong, everyone loves a special, but not when it’s emailed twice a day every day. One email received the other day was from a company which offered $5 off a minimum spend of $50 – really? Was it even worth that to send the email? Quality over quantity is key! 
  • Why is all marketing aimed at kids?? Last time we checked there were more people over the age of 13 in NZ and we don't really fancy a 1D bedspread…
  • Why do we try and be something we are not? Click Monday, Black Friday? Stats are that only 16% of Christmas shopping is completed on Black Friday in the States – not exactly a huge money spinner (not to mention the margins argh!) Yielding more disappointment than excitement from my point of view!
  • Where have all these people have been hiding most of the year...? Are we sure there are only 4.24 million of us nationwide as I'm pretty sure Newmarket had at least that last week when I attempted a Christmas shop while in the big smoke

Having said all of that, it seems that our biggest question is:

Could someone please sell me the Joy of Christmas rather than a product?

There are so many great emotive promotions overseas which tap into the emotion, joy and love of Christmas, not just selling product.  Personally we believe the feel good factor produces more loyalty than a $5 off coupon ever will…

Here are just a couple of international retailers embracing the Joy of Christmas:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=49sKKbmuQCg – Sainsburys

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XqWig2WARb0 – John Lewis (Our personal favourite!)

To sign off for the week, we would like to remind you Christmas shopping folks to remember the joy of Christmas when out shopping and play nice with the retail teams you meet.  They crave the Joy of Christmas just as much as you do (no matter what promotion they are running!) Remember Santa sees all and we're sure he hasn't checked his naughty and nice list twice yet.

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