NAJ News

Countdown to Christmas – 12 Tips for Retailers

08 Nov 2019

merry christmas
Countdown to Christmas – 12 tips 

The weeks before Christmas and the sale period immediately after are the busiest time in the retail calendar. But the Christmas period may feel anything but festive for retailers who haven’t thoroughly prepared, Rosie Davies, a senior associate in the retail team at law firm Goodman Derrick shares her top tips: 

Don’t forget one of the standard quarter days is 25 December

Santa Clause (not as fun as it sounds!) – this should be included in your lease to prevent your landlord from serving notice during your busiest time - i.e. from November through to end of January. (N.B if there isn’t already a Santa Clause,now could be a good time to negotiate the inclusion of one with your landlord)

  • Security – during Christmas closure periods, ensure that your unit is secure. (Squatters are now targeting commercial premises because laws have been tightened to make it harder for squatters to take over residential properties) 
  • Online offerings – stress test your website to ensure it won’t crash in busy periods, and that it is secure.
  • Collecting customer data during this busy period – make sure you know what you can, and can’t, do with this valuable information.
  • Shop fronts – check your lease, as some prevent windows being dominated with Christmas decorations and/or sales signs
  • Stock levels – check last year’s records to see which products sold best and ensure stock levels are adequate
  • Staff – seek guidance on overtime/minimum pay/using seasonal staff as these can be difficult areas
  • Seasonal events – check your lease to see whether your landlord can recoup the cost of seasonal events/ decorations via the service charge.
  • Planning your shop fit / access arrangements – if you are planning to be open in time to catch the Christmas trade then you need to build in sufficient time to allow for legal documentation to be negotiated and completed, and for the shop fit to be approved and completed.
  • Trading hours – often there will be “late night shopping” events, and leases often include “keep open” clauses so it’s important to check the hours during which you will be asked to open the store, in the run up to Christmas (and during the following sale period).
  • Reconfiguring your store to make it stand out for the festive season – check the alterations clauses in your lease to make sure you can do what you want to do.