Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Christmas Sales Predictions

It's time to make your predictions. What do you see in your crystal ball for Christmas sales?

Shopper-Trak is predicting a 2.9% increase.
National Retail Federation says it will go up 2.3%.

But what does that mean?

Not every retailer is going to hit that 2.3 to 2.9% mark. In fact, I predict that very few retailers will be up 2-3%.

Double-Digit Growth
Some retailers are going to have double-digit growth this holiday. Others are going to see double-digit declines. And a whole bunch of retailers are going to be within 1% either way of last year's sales.

Those numbers NRF and Shopper-Trak are predicting are national totals. They take into account overall population growth, spending habits, surveys of customer moods, etc. - on a national basis!

None of that has any relevance in your local market. Your population might be growing faster than the national average. It might be declining. Your competition might be doing more in your market (or less). You might be doing more (or less) to grow your own business.

The Only Number That Counts
The best thing to do about those numbers is to forget them. Ignore them. Don't give them the time of day. Focus only on your own number, the growth you want to make happen in your business. Pick a number that works for you. Then set about doing what you have to do to hit that number.

For me, I am predicting 15% growth in November. I have acted accordingly. I have planned my marketing and my inventory to meet this goal. I have indoctrinated my staff that this is what we are going to accomplish. I have trained them, scheduled them, and inspired them to make this happen.

Planning and Action Make it Happen
It isn't a wish. It is a plan. We looked at what we did last year. We looked at what we are capable of doing historically. We looked at what was realistic based on this year's trends. We looked at what the market would bear. We chose a goal that we knew we could make. Then we set up actions to put us in the right position to meet this goal.

It doesn't matter what NRF or Shopper-Trak believes. It only matters what you believe. Do you believe you can reach double-digit growth this holiday? If you believe it, you can achieve it. You only have to act upon those beliefs.

If you're just sitting back waiting for your 2.3% increase, I promise you, you won't get it. Be proactive and go get the sales you want for your business.

-Phil

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