Reflecting seasonal events in your store by @Shoppercentric for #IndieRetail

Just in case you hadn’t noticed yet, Christmas is rapidly approaching – as we can tell with the return of Strictly, X-Factor and Downton Abbey to our screens. Oh, and the stack of tins of Christmas confectionery in the supermarkets! And presumably you are now planning or even putting in place your Christmas windows.

Engaging shoppers with seasonal displays

But Christmas is not the only seasonal event that retailers and manufacturers tap into to remind shoppers to spend more money. There are opportunities throughout the year, with varying suitability for a range of products and retailers. And for many shoppers, the effort perceived to be put into other seasonal events outweighs that of Christmas, which creates disappointment.  “If they can make this much effort with Halloween, why can’t they do the same with Christmas?” is a common complaint we hear from shoppers.

Creating some theatre is store

What shoppers like about Halloween in-store is the theatre created – from Halloween decorative items or Halloween products such as biscuits, to confectionery, dressing up outfits and pumpkins.  It inspires them to consider the range and creates a desire to buy.  A stunning window, followed up by a great in-store display, that each deliver the sense of theatre can have a real impact: “Ooh, I love it. They’ve made it seem really fun and exciting. I’m going to come back and see how I can decorate my home.”

Range and merchandising is key to successful seasonal events

Getting the range and merchandising right is a key component of a successful seasonal event.  Shoppers are often looking for something a little bit different, something that stands out, something that hasn’t obviously come from a supermarket.  “You want something that shows you’ve put a bit of effort in and is a bit different.  I love all the unusual stuff you see at Christmas”. But don’t assume they expect you to stock these items – use your window to catch attention and hook shoppers in. As the nights draw in, an enticing, bright Halloween or Christmas window is hard to ignore. And don’t be afraid to enter into the spirit of a seasonal event yourselves – even a Christmas hat is appreciated by shoppers (more so than yet more Christmas musak!)

Shoppers respond well to great seasonal displays

When retailers make an effort to hit the seasonal spot it is genuinely appreciated by shoppers. Seasonal marketing works when it makes a retailer more relevant than competitors, and when it creates the impact that can be so hard to achieve day to day.

So, here’s hoping that some of the thoughts here will inspire your seasonal plans, and that you have a busy and successful end to 2013.

This blog was written for the Support for Independent Retail Campaign by Danielle Pinnington, Managing Director of Shoppercentric. To find out more about Shoppercentric see


About Clare Bailey

Clare Bailey, The Retail Champion (formerly Clare Rayner), is one of the most well-known and respected retail experts in the UK. With unrivalled knowledge in retail, high streets and consumer matters, she offers unbiased, independent content – whether engaged as a professional speaker, for broadcast media, or for a written feature. Clare is a business woman, entrepreneur and founder of several small businesses. Having been born into a family of successful business owners, it was inevitable that she’d eventually jump off the corporate treadmill and step out on her own! Today her brand portfolio includes The Retail Champion, The Retail Conference, the Future High Street Summit and the Support for Independent Retail campaign. In addition, she is co-founder of Mobaro Retail UK and a non-exec director of Beed Virtual Assistant Services. Having started her career as a fast-track store management trainee for McDonalds, she went on to work with leading retailers such as M&S, Dixons and Argos. She moved swiftly into management roles before being headhunted into senior consulting roles with global software giant SAP, and international management consulting brand, Accenture. Her corporate background in senior retail, consulting and technology roles, coupled with her experience of creating and running her own business, has enabled her to be equally capable whether consulting to global brands or micro businesses. This unique blend has not only positioned her as a leading expert in all things retail, but has enabled her to add meaningful commentary and insight to the debate around the future of the high street, and, how technology is driving fundamental change in the way consumers, and businesses, interact. Clare has become an influential voice in her field, which has resulted in her becoming a regular media contributor and sought-after conference speaker. Often seen on Good Morning Britain, BBC Breakfast, Sky News, and Chanel 5 (to name a few), Clare speaks on a myriad of retail, high street and consumer issues – but is particular adept when it comes to explaining the context behind retail trading results, newly released data, and government stats, in a palatable and informative manner. In addition to broadcast and conference speaking, Clare is the proud author of two best-selling business books published by Kogan Page - The Retail Champion: 10 Steps to Retail Success, published July 2012 and How to Sell to Retail: The Secrets of Getting Your Product to Market, published February 2013. She has provided contributions to various academic texts, including Retail Marketing Management (published by Pearson). With an engaging, conversational yet informative style, Clare writes for press and content agencies, providing features, articles, blogs and opinion pieces as well as contributions to white papers and reports. However, when the situation demands a more serious style, Clare can deliver - In 2016 she wrote an extensive report for a major insurance and risk law firm, as a retail expert witness, to support a public liability suit. She found that project particularly enjoyable as it played well to her strengths – assimilating large amounts of data and information, identifying the key points and articulating that in an understandable manner. When not on TV or speaking at conferences, Clare’s “day job” sees her supporting consumer-facing businesses through her consultancy services. When asked to describe what she most loves about retail consulting it is typically the opportunity to “dig deep”, getting “under the bonnet”, in order to leverage the business data to uncover the insights that lead to “lightbulb moments”. She also loves working on business change programmes that centre on improving the processes and systems to increase profitability by supporting more rapid, better informed decision making, improving the customer experience, or simply by become more efficient and streamlined. In this respect she considers herself a “business engineer” with a brain that works like a relational database! Due to her years of experience, her logical, objective approach, her quick, rational thinking, she is known for being able to cut through complexity, seeing right through to the crux of issues, finding creative solutions that others may have overlooked. As if all that wasn’t enough, Clare is a working mum, juggling a home life in rural Lincolnshire with her partner, their 5 kids, 4 cats, and geriatric Labrador! For all enquiries, contact Clare directly on 01727 238890 or email
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