Bricks and mortar christmas store, like boutiques, artisanal stores, and independent retailers, face another tough Christmas period. In 2022, footfall slumped 27% on British high streets after Christmas. Online mega-retailers like Amazon, eBay, and other digital stores are hoovering up the Christmas custom.
Except: consumers still want to buy their products on the high street.
Indeed, while people choose to shop online at nationwide retailers, independent stores are currently on the rise. Independent retailers and food outlets saw a record rise in numbers during 2021. Consumers still want a little something special – especially when Christmas is around the corner.
As the decorations twinkle, visiting independent stores and boutique retailers is part of the festive magic. But how can bricks and mortar christmas store get their stores ready for the Christmas footfall? Learn more below.
10 Top Tips to Get Your Bricks and Mortar Christmas Store Ready for Christmas 2023
- Festive Storefront Makeover
- Curate Special Christmas Stock
- Host In-Store Events
- Partner with Local Businesses
- Extend Holiday Shopping Hours
- Promote Your Store on Social Media
- Offer Gift Wrapping Services
- Train Your Staff for the Rush
- Create a Cosy Environment
- Personalise the Shopping Experience
1. Festive Storefront Makeover
First impressions count – a spectacular Christmas display can lure customers inside. After all, who doesn’t want to investigate the curiosities and crafts showcased in your window?
Imagine a scene with a snowy backdrop, reindeer playfully prancing around, and Santa’s sleigh loaded with not just any old gifts – but your products. However, your display doesn’t have to be so labour intensive or costly.
Just doing the basics to create a warm, welcoming space can significantly boost your business. Consider these ideas:
- Use Christmas-themed decals like snowflakes, bells, or reindeer silhouettes to add a festive touch.
- Drape warm white or multicoloured fairy lights around the window frame or inside, creating a cosy and magical ambience.
- Dress mannequins in festive apparel or accessories, offering a sneak peek of holiday offerings inside the store.
- Stack beautifully wrapped gift boxes of varying sizes, hinting at the treasures inside.
- Adorn the entrance with a festive wreath and drape garlands around, signalling the holiday spirit right from the door.
2. Curate a Special Christmas Inventory
Once inside, your inventory must exude the Christmas spirit. Think limited edition Christmas-themed products, handcrafted goods, and even personalised offerings.
Since small businesses are not only competing on the high street but also with online giants, customers expect something special inside your store – something they can’t buy anywhere else. That could be locally made products or artisanal goods.
Don’t just stock your regular items; add a little festive cheer. For example:
- Handcrafted Ornaments: Source or create unique, artisanal Christmas ornaments that reflect local artistry or cultural significance, giving customers a distinctive decoration for their trees.
- Personalised Gift Baskets: Curate baskets with a combination of popular items from your store, wrapped beautifully, making it a convenient and thoughtful gift option.
- Festive Apparel & Accessories: Introduce Christmas-themed clothing or accessories, such as holiday sweaters, scarves, or jewellery pieces adorned with festive motifs.
Of course, your special Christmas inventory will depend on your store’s speciality. Oh, and you can also organise these new products into zones like “Handmade Creations” or “Exclusive Christmas Gifts.”
3. Host In-Store Events
Swing open your doors and invite people inside. If there’s one advantage that brick-and-mortar businesses have over online stores, it’s their premises.
Too few boutiques and artisanal stores run in-store events. Yet, it’s a brilliant way to get the word out. Try to theme your events around your products.
So, if you’re a local confectionary store, run a gingerbread house-making session or an ornamental shop could invite children to make fun Christmas tree decorations. And, of course, there are the classics, like having Santa Claus come to visit or inviting a local choir to sing carols.
These events can be free or have a small cost. The primary objective is to get people in the store, creating a festive atmosphere and skyrocketing sales. It’s also a genius chance to promote your brand on social media (see below).
4. Partner with Local Businesses
Collaboration is key. Joining hands with other local and small businesses is the best way to survive and thrive. Everybody wins!
If you’re a bookstore, collaborate with the local café to offer discounts to each other’s customers. If you sell apparel, consider partnering with nearby jewellery or accessory shops for bundled deals. Shared festive campaigns can also be organised, where multiple stores come together to create a neighbourhood-wide Christmas shopping extravaganza.
You could even launch or participate in a Christmas market. Not every small town or village hosts a market, but doing so is a creative way to attract Christmas shoppers and tourists.
5. Extend Holiday Shopping Hours
People rushing around finishing their Christmas shopping are squeezed for time. That’s why most businesses extend their shopping hours to help customers buy what they need.
Adjusting your Bricks and Mortar Christmas Store hours to accommodate early morning or late evening shoppers can boost footfall and show that you value their needs. Promoting these extended hours, especially with special deals, can also attract customers during off-peak times.
6. Promote Your Store on Social Media
Fill your Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest with pics of your decorations, special Christmas inventory, and in-store events. Teasers of exclusive products, behind-the-scenes glimpses of festive preparations, or even customer testimonials can engage and attract potential shoppers.
Don’t forget to use festive hashtags and encourage customers to share their in-store experiences. Hosting giveaways or collaborating with local influencers can further expand your reach, driving more customers to your store.
7. Offer Gift Wrapping Services
Customers go to boutique stores and independent retailers at Christmas for something special. Don’t send them home with a carrier bag. Offer to beautifully wrap their gifts with store-branded boxes, wrapping paper, and bows. Not only does it leave a delighted customer, but it also boosts brand awareness.
Oh, and you can also charge for gift wrapping service – alleviating a major pain point for rushed shoppers.
Stock up on beautiful wrapping paper, ribbons, and tags. Consider setting up a designated wrapping station in bricks and mortar christmas store where customers can see their gifts being wrapped, adding to the overall festive shopping experience.
8. Train Your Staff for the Rush
If you’ve done everything right, you should be jam-packed throughout most of the Christmas season. That’s a blessing and a curse.
Unless your staff is primed and ready for the rush, business can quickly turn into a shambles. Invest in training sessions that detail efficient customer service, handling long queues, and managing stock.
Each and every team member should understand the store layout, location of popular products, and be able to advise customers on their purchases.
Remember: it’s supposed to be fun! Focus on creating a positive, festive work environment that keeps your staff motivated and energetic even during the busiest days.
9. Create a Cosy Environment
Don’t you just love that Christmas feeling? That’s the thing about Christmas: it’s not just about buying presents; it’s about the experience.
Capture the cosiness of Christmas in your store, and customers won’t want to leave. Think soft lighting, gentle Christmas carols playing in the background, and maybe even the subtle scent of pine or cinnamon in the air.
If space allows, set up a small corner with comfy seating and offer warm, seasonal beverages like hot cocoa or mulled wine. Creating a cosy ambience encourages customers to browse longer and buy more.
10. Personalise the Shopping Experience
More than anything, consumers crave a personal shopping experience. According to Forbes, 71% of consumers feel frustrated with a shopping experience that is impersonal. We want to ask questions, chat about the products, and learn their background. Who doesn’t love the personal touch?
It’s a major leg-up on the faceless online stores and generic mega-retailers. Use this to your advantage.
Greet customers by name if you know them, offer personalised shopping advice, or even maintain a wish list system where regular customers can list items they’re interested in. Such initiatives make the customer feel valued and foster loyalty.
Closing Thoughts on Bricks and Mortar Christmas Store
Are you prepared for Christmas? Have you decked your halls and filled your shelves with festive treasures? As the holiday season approaches, it is a chance for small bricks and mortar christmas store to shine – literally and metaphorically.
Whether you’ve got a stellar range of festive products, a well-drilled team of diligent store elves, or an advent calendar of events, make sure every customer who walks through your doors gets a little slice of Christmas magic.
Learn more about how to boost your business with The Resilient Club. Founded by Catherine Erdly, you’ll receive expert support and advice in scaling your business. And she’ll teach you how to make the most of the holidays.
Join the club and put your Bricks and Mortar Christmas Store on the map!