Well it’s that time of year again, something I am sure many of us look forward to with trepidation. Off to the shops each weekend and despite the economic gloom, it’s still crowded and queues are long.
Christmas always brings to mind an episode my good friend Bill told me about a number of years ago.
It was the Saturday before Christmas and Bill being a great football fan had just settled into his favorite armchair to watch the match. Just as he got comfortable his wife Janet popped her head round the corner and asked, “Bill honey, did you remember to get the cranberry sauce?”.
Bill panicked, quickly jumped to his feet and offered to pop down to the local supermarket, but Janet, sensing his obvious lack of enthusiasm for the task at hand offered to go herself.
Long after the football was finished, in fact about three hours later, Janet returned. Quick to point out that she hadn’t been enjoying a leisurely stroll round the shops she snapped “Before you ask, no, I wasn’t shopping for fun, they couldn’t get the goods out on the shelves fast enough, only half the tills were open and the queues were 5 deep!”
Ever sympathetic and without thinking Bill retorted, “You should have known that this close to Christmas they would be very busy.”
Janet’s immediate response was, “No THEY should have known!”
So, come on all you retailers, the solution is out there, no excuse this year for not deploying the right staff, in the right place, doing the right things at the right time. Remember, you only get just over two chances to upset a customer before they take their business elsewhere.
Wishing everybody good trading at this special time of year.
PS – in case you’re wondering, Bill did enjoy cranberry sauce with his Christmas turkey!