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Planning For Your Fourth Quarter

by webmaster — August 12, 2010

Now that we’re eight weeks away from the all-important 4th quarter, how are your sales distribution rates…margins…ad markdowns…sales…customer counts?

Have you dusted off your 2010 4th quarter plan lately?

You may be in the middle of your eighth period budget and needing to aggressively gain momentum going into the 4th quarter. Why not take a couple of days out of your routine to make a trip to Phoenix and allow us to help you with a revised 4th quarter business plan?

You may be asking, “Is a 2010 4th quarter review session really that important?” Or, “Why should I take a day or two off to double check the plan?”

And maybe it’s not necessary; start with a full day review of your 4th quarter marketing plan. How does it differ from your 2009 plan? Are your sales and margins going into the 4th quarter lower than plan already? If so, why would you think that your current plan will work without any adjustments? If your sales and margin performance going in to the 4th quarter is exceeding your plan, what are you planning on doing better this holiday season to offset promotions that are being planned to regain lost market shares?

How can you sharpen your business plan for the 4th quarter and energize your staff for a great 4th quarter in 2010?

If you decide it’s worth a trip to Phoenix for a planning and review session, here is a short list of topics we’d like to review with you:

In very specific terms, how are you going to manage the SEASONAL elements that you’ll be competing with other retailers on, such as:

1. Gift Card promotions, marketing and sales. Promoting the sale of gift cards to organizations and private businesses knowing that gift card sales generate new prospective shoppers.
2. Catering opportunities, Gift Basket and Party Tray programs that are easy to understand and clearly different from competitors’ offerings.
3. Seasonal items only available in quarter four—planning signature items that will be exclusively available at your stores.
4. Managing turkey sales/margins while providing meaningful alternative options to your customers vs. trying to lose less money this year selling turkeys.
5. Customer loyalty programs for October, November and December that cultivate ongoing business after the 4th quarter.
6. Helping your customers manage their food budgets and gaining traction throughout the 4th quarter with well-planned promotions.
7. Changing the mix of your advertising and marketing to leverage new media (web, texting, i-phone/android promotions) that is faster, cheaper and more measurable than conventional advertising.
8. Gain recognition from your customers, and new customers, for an authentic approach to the celebrations of the upcoming holiday season.
9. Energizing your store staff to execute the seasonal planning opportunities differently than last year and the year before.
10. An aggressive marketing plan to target a 15% increase in sales per transaction levels fueled by an equally aggressive signage, display and promotional plan involving mid to high level margin items.

Even if you’re comfortable that your 4th quarter marketing plans are great, it never hurts to get new ideas, opinions, suggestions and perspectives.

Click here if you’re interested in a planning session with our experts.

Have a great balance of the summer season and a great start to your fall/winter season!

Filed Under: Company News

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