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Manager's To Do

The Last-Minute Rundown to Make Your Holidays Successful and Bearable

Here comes the happiest — and busiest — time of year.




Oct. 29-Nov. 4

CIVIC DUTY Nov. 6 is Election Day. Make arrangements to ensure you and your staff have time to vote.

Nov. 5-11

CRM Prep Christmas cards to your best customers. The cards should contain only a “from our family to yours” type of message, with signatures written in hand (no promotional offers). All cards should be mailed right after Thanksgiving.

STORE Want to liven up the atmosphere in your store? Cut a Christmas karaoke video with you and your staff singing timeless holiday classics in booming voices (all the better if they are in tune, but that’s really not necessary). Play it occasionally — and at a low volume, please — on your store’s video monitors.

Nov. 12-18

OPERATIONS Hold a decorating party one night after work or on a day your store is closed. Play music, order pizzas and have fun! If your merchandising is done on grays or whites, you can easily use red and green, two colors that are the simplest, most effective way to say “Christmas.” But, if they clash with your store, you will have to go to an alternative — perhaps blue and white winter colors.

Nov. 19-25

MANAGEMENT Holding an end-of-season staff party? Consider joining up with someone else in your shopping center.

Nov. 26-Dec. 2

GENERAL Go to whatever parties you’re invited, but be sure to get plenty of sleep, too, over the next six weeks. Cutting back on your Zs is a false trade-off if you’re trying to be more productive.


Dec. 3-9

OPERATIONS When the holidays are at their most hectic, a bathroom can offer a welcome refuge. Get your restroom in the holiday mood with a few extra touches: greenery, holiday towels and a scented candle. Your guests will surely appreciate the extra effort.

Dec. 10-16

CUSTOMER SERVICE Play Santa: Sneak a little extra gift for your customers’ favorite pet into every bag you hand to them.

Dec. 17-23

MARKETING It’s seven days until Christmas — send a holiday email blast with sure-thing gift ideas for pets. Feature exclusive deals to make your special clients really feel special.

SALES Say to each customer, “Does your dog have a present under the tree for Christmas?” … “No?! Well don’t be a Grinch! Let’s find them something special. Can I show you some of our best dog toys? What’s your pet’s play style?”

Dec. 24-30

INVENTORY Consider bundling items together (two toys with a chewy, wrapped in a big red ribbon). If you don’t have much holiday merchandise left, use this area to feature long-lasting chews and things that will keep their pets entertained while your customers are enjoying time with their families.

CUSTOMER RELATIONS Lull in the store? Or just need a break? Draft your end-of-year thank-you notes to customers and referrers, and mail them as you complete a batch.




P.L.A.Y. Media Spotlight

At P.L.A.Y. — Pet Lifestyle & You — toy design is definitely a team effort! Watch PETS+ interviewer Chloe DiVita and P.L.A.Y.’s Director of Sales Lisa Hisamune as they talk about the toy design process, the fine-tuning that makes each toy so special and why every P.L.A.Y. collection is made with independent retailers top of mind.

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