Traditionally a time of community events and gathering together to celebrate the bounty of the season’s agricultural harvest, the Thanksgiving holiday is a great opportunity for food co-ops to stand out and highlight what they have to offer! Here are a few seasonal suggestions to help make your produce holiday season a success.
Planning. Having the right amount of all the seasonal staples in stock will be important, so contact your suppliers in advance and make sure to reserve plenty of these items ahead of time. Identify your top sellers from previous years, account for your current growth, and make sure that you have enough product on hand before the holiday rush. Streamline your operations and help keep things more manageable by scheduling produce hard goods and dry items to arrive before Thanksgiving week, and try to limit big deliveries in the days just prior to the holiday.
Preparation. Utilize creative holiday sets to celebrate the colorful bounty of the season. It is beneficial to set up holiday specials, promotional items, and new displays during the week before Thanksgiving to generate excitement and momentum prior to the department’s busiest days. Make a point to review operational basics in detail so the department is well prepared and maintained. Prep and tag high volume items in advance and fully rotate all product throughout the department. By taking full advantage of the lead up days, we can help ensure the busier holiday week will run smoothly and be more enjoyable for everyone.
Abundance. Creating visually engaging, dynamic, and functional displays throughout the entire produce section should be the holiday merchandising focus. Try to incorporate backstock inventory of more durable items (like potatoes, onions, sweet potatoes, etc.) into the display plan where appropriate by removing display dummies and blocks, and using case stacks creatively. Getting items out on the sales floor in advance minimizes restocking time when it gets busy, and allows us the opportunity to focus on the fresh items that require more preparation, maintenance, and attention.
Teamwork. Take some extra time to bring the group together to share information, cover frequently asked customer questions, and prepare for the excitement about to take place. Use this opportunity to model the positive attitudes and desirable behaviors that will lead the team to success. Rolling up your sleeves and diving into the work beside your teammates is the best way to support the group, build teamwork, and keep the energy level high.
Gratitude. The holiday week is about providing solutions, so make truly exceptional customer service the highest priority in your produce department. Being available, present, and willing to take the extra steps during this festive time will make a great impression that reverberates long after the holiday season has passed.
Planning, preparation, and quality teamwork will help make your co-op produce holiday successful, and keep you doing good work while having fun in the process.
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