The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

Local News

November 25, 2012

Holiday sales essential for retailers’ bottom line, creates jobs

DANVILLE — The holiday shopping season is in full swing, with shoppers who braved Black Friday now recovering, assessing their trip and sharing their tales of trials and triumphs.

While the gift-buying season is fun for most, yet no doubt dreaded by some, sales during this time of year can make or break the bottom line for retail businesses.

To help capitalize during the biggest buying time, retailers make use of many strategies. Earlier than ever and longer sales, bigger price cuts, layaway, targeted advertising campaigns and hiring extra workers are just some of the methods being employed to help holiday sales along.

Holiday hiring

Having the right amount of help on the sales floor during the holiday rush is essential for maximum success for retailers.

Richard Feinberg, Purdue University professor of consumer sciences and retailing, said retailers are thinking about sales when they hire extra help for the holidays.

“The more likely a consumer is to find someone to help them, the more likely they are to find something to buy,” Feinberg said.

He said in most all cases when a customer leaves a store it’s because they couldn’t find what they wanted. The only way for an employer to counter that is with live people. More employees on the floor equate to more sales per square foot.

“They can achieve more,” Feinberg said of those who have more on staff. “Stores can choose to be a vending machine or they can be a value to the consumer.”

At Big R in Tilton, supervisor Randy Thornton said they’ve been gearing up for the holiday shopping season and Black Friday, in particular.

“We have done some hiring the past few weeks,” Thornton said. “We make sure we have plenty of help.”

Thornton said holiday hiring at the store begins by looking at their roster and seeing who has left since spring, which is a strong time of year for them with the lawn and garden season.

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