Holiday Season To-Do List for Specialty Beverage Retailers

In reviewing some of the trade journals that come across my desk, I noticed a listing of key things to look at for the holiday season.  I thought they were helpful to keep in mind during this busy retail time.  I modified them a bit for a specialty coffee retail establishment.  Not all inclusive, but  if nothing else, I hope this encourages you to develop your own action item list for your store.

November 1.  Review holiday merchandise and food orders for Thanksgiving, Christmas and Hanukkah.  Include seasonal coffees and point of purchase coffees.

November 4.  Make sure all seasonal point of sale materials have been ordered and are on their way, if not in already.   Make plans to hold an open house or mini-tastings throughout the season to help introduce customers to your offerings for the season.

November 9. Complete hiring plans for the season. Do you have all new help or returning help?  Do you have training programs ready? If you need more information on Stockton Graham’s Coffee College courses or our Barista Certification Program, contact your Customer Care Associate at 800.835.5943.

November 11.  Make sure Thanksgiving coffee signage is  up.  It’s a great time for your customers to arrive at Thanksgiving dinner with a bag of their favorite coffee from your store. Work with your staff on upsellng those items.

November 18.  One week before Thanksgiving.  Place coffee orders to arrive in time for customer pick-up.

November 26.  Thanksgiving Day!

November 27.  Change out November decor and POS and put up the December items.  Review December merchandise, food and coffee orders.

December 12.  Hanukkah starts and runs through Dec. 19. All our coffees are Kosher certified.

December 1 through December 24.  Sample, sample, sample holiday food, coffees and merchandise!

December 26.  Start your seasonal mark downs to move out holiday specific merchandise.

December 31.  New Years Eve.  Celebrate!

January 3. Time for the Good, the Bad and the Ugly. Evaluate what worked, what flopped and what, with some improvement, could be better next year.

Jeff Vojta, Co-founder & CEO
Stockton Graham & Co.