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Christmas tips from Leekes’ Eamonn Ferry

As the peak trading period kicks off, HousewaresNews.net asks for advice from the Excellence in Housewares Awards’ Retail Employee of the Year Eamonn Ferry, home improvements business manager at Leekes:

What is your best advice for coping with the busy festive sales period?

“My best advice would be to be prepared and well organized. We keep a lessons learnt document each year and identify where we could have done things better. We then follow this up each year by setting up a critical path of important dates for stock to be delivered by as well as a cut off date after which no more seasonal orders can be placed.

“Overstocking our stores can as much of a danger as under-stocking if we replenish seasonal sales too late in the season!  Communication of all of these dates and key lines with our store teams is vital and we therefore send out a document with merchandising instructions, delivery dates and key lines at the start of the season so that they are prepared in plenty of time.”

Above: Leekes is focusing on service both in-store and online. This weekend its stores are holding Christmas activities including Santa and live reindeer and Christmas baking.
Above: Leekes is focusing on service both in-store and online. This weekend its stores are holding Christmas activities including Santa and live reindeer and Christmas baking.

What’s going to be important for your business in 2020? 

“It’s a very exciting time to be in retail, with the continued rapid growth of online the retail environment is changing incredibly quickly. Our customers are researching online to see what ranges we are stocking and our price integrity even if they are not purchasing online. Our priority is therefore to ensure that we are truly omnichannel and our online offering mirrors our store offering and we give our customer an efficient and convenient service for our customer both on and offline.

“We are constantly reviewing our pricing to ensure that we are competitive with the market and introducing point of sale in store to explain to our customers that we are doing this. We are also investing in staff training, new product offers, leisure facilities and events in store so that customers have plenty of reasons to visit and enjoy Leekes.”

Top: Eamonn was presented with the Retail Employee of the Year Award by Tramontina’s UK marketing consultant, Mhairi Coull at the recent Excellence in Housewares Awards.

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