Saturday, July 30, 2011

Saturday Gift Post--That Weird Transition Time in the Store Between Summer and Autumn

Tomorrow I'm heading to the gift show in Chicago, but today is a full day on the floor, as we are a 3/2 staff--to me, that means three openers and two closers, which I can assure you is relatively light.  There's no heading to the back room to plan fall events or buy holiday cards, two tasks that have kept me busy this week.

We buy holiday cards both boxed and loose, and by holiday, I really mean Christmas, as I only sell a handful of the other holidays in the 4th quarter. Last year I skipped the few Thanksgiving cards I came across.  We got enough requests that we'll probably have two to three loose designs this year.

I should be able to keep busy between customers, as our fall order arrived from Melissa and Doug yesterday, a line that is a staple of not just book and toy stores, but places like Whole Foods too.  It's large enough that we don't overlap too badly--but if you were wondering where to get other David Kirk Sunny Patch items that we didn't pick up this time around, I assure you that they are not hard to find.

Pam noticed that we were pretty light on puzzles for kids, so this order is arriving pretty much on time.  If I'm honest with myself, we could have used it a couple of weeks ago.

With all of our calendars coming in, we lose at least one display table, maybe two.  Eventually the cookbook table will turn into Christmas cards (and later on, switch back as we move it up to the store), and one of the outdoor tables in kids will turn into back to school.  By next Saturday, I should have up our nice assortment of kid-friendly backpacks and lunchboxes. If I know my customers, several of them will wind up being sold for adult use. 

As we adjust the store, I notice that just moving things around often helps jump-start some sales.  We were not selling our cute tooth pouches in a basket, but as other things sold down, we switched them to a hanging strip and they started to move.  This inspires me to do a little more moving this weekend!

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