In the November issue of National Liquor News, Stephen Wilson, Category and Insights Manager at Strikeforce, describes why its important to plan for early festive promotions this Christmas.

Christmas is fast approaching so time to get prepared for the seasonal onslaught. Hopefully Christmas 2021 will be a joyous occasion with plenty of family and friends around the Christmas table.

There has, however, been a few rumblings in recent weeks about threats to supply chains through a combination of industrial action on the ports, carriers simply being over stretched by demand for goods online or COVID-driven shortages in staff.

Media reports have been encouraging households to shop early this year to avoid disappointment, so this may cause disruption to the usual flow and rhythm of pre-Christmas purchasing patterns.

A recent survey conducted by Strikeforce found 75 per cent of households usually do the Christmas shop a week or less before the big day, however nonperishables like liquor are open to purchasing much earlier for brands consumers are seeking.

With a level of supply uncertainty bubbling away in the background, this year might be the year to ‘go early’ with offers that would usually hit the market in late November or early December.

Liquor stores in regional areas might see an uptick in trade this year along with an increase in basket spend due to the much-reported migration of urban dwellers to regional Australia, potentially bringing with them increased discretionary spend which can provide growth opportunities.

Category is important when considering what to feature, with spirits or wine more likely to drive early Christmas pantry filling, being a higher ticket item, particularly if there is a discounted price or ‘two for’ on offer.

Other considerations are in-store location, length of time featuring brands and rotation to keep the offer fresh and appeal to different types of shoppers.

Let’s compare two shoppers who are both looking to purchase Scotch for Christmas. A highly visible display is on a front-end shelf close to a store’s point of entry:

  • Murray hates shopping and sees it as a waste of his time, so he enters the store, grabs a bottle of Scotch from the front-end shelf, pays and gets out of the store quickly.
  • Ruby is highly planned and on a budget. She enters the store and sees the well-stocked front end shelf, wanders down to the Scotch section but returns to the front end after checking prices and picks up not one but two bottles of Scotch, swayed by the offer, then pays and walks out of the store happy.

Two different shopping missions both with positive outcomes.

Going early with the right offer, in the right location and keeping the offer fresh will be paramount to providing an enjoyable experience for your customers and maximising sales in the lead up to Christmas 2021.

Find more great articles like this to prepare for the Christmas trading period in the November issue of National Liquor News.

Brydie Allen

Brydie Allen is the Editor of National Liquor News. She has been with Food and Beverage Media since 2019, when she joined the company as a journalist across National Liquor News, Bars & Clubs, The...

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