Wednesday, 27. November 2019

Black Friday and Christmas: How traders keep cool during these stressful times

The supposedly biggest discount battle of the year is imminent. On Friday hundreds of merchants and online shops will again compete for customers’ favour with discount offers. The shopping event Black Friday marks the start of the Christmas business. And it’s no longer just one day – many retailers expand the event into entire discount weeks. The cash registers ring in the retail trade. For the employees, this means stress above all.

25 percent more customers in food retailing 

Black Friday comes at just the right time with its discounts at the beginning of the Christmas season. Followed by Cyber Monday and other bargain days, it is the perfect opportunity to buy presents for the upcoming holiday. The Handelsverband Deutschland (HDE) is forecasting revenues of more than 100 million euros for the Christmas business in November and December. With a total turnover of 535.5 billion euros, which is forecast for the year 2019, the traders generate almost every fifth euro in the last months of the year. This is also noticeable in food retailing: “I would estimate that there will be 20 to 25 percent more customers in the Christmas weeks. Especially on the Advent weekends there is a lot going on”, reports Steven Merschmann, employee at a REWE store in Bielefeld.

Time savings of up to two hours per day

It is clear that Black Friday and Christmas are worthwhile for retailers. For employees, however, more customers often mean more stress. When there is a lot of traffic, the disposal of garbage and other clean-up work can be a nuisance. But there are ways to remedy the situation. For example, disposal work can be carried out mechanically. This is made possible by a baler that no longer has to be filled manually. A baler with automatic filling saves more than 500 working hours per year, more than 80 hours for the Christmas business in November and December in a branch alone. That’s two hours a day.

Digital helpers for personnel deployment

Stress avoidance, however, does not only work by saving time. It is also important to use the available employees efficiently. And not to expect too much from them. Under time pressure, store managers often have to plan who works when. Not infrequently on a piece of paper and by feeling. Incorrect planning and the resulting bottlenecks are already pre-programmed – and in the run-up to Christmas this becomes even more acute. Digital tools that simplify the planning of personnel deployment and make it more efficient can help. For example, the “Shift Planner” software supports the creation of rosters and automatically takes employee-related data such as vacation, number of hours per week or sick days into account. In addition, shifts that are over- or understaffed are directly displayed. The digital assistant must be made accessible to all employees. Apps that work on private smartphones are ideal for this purpose. There are also numerous alternatives to “shift planners”. It’s worth taking a look at the Appstore.

Saved time and more efficient personnel deployment – this has a positive effect not only on employees and dealers, but also on customers. Because there is more time for direct consulting, for example. A win-win situation for both sides.

Strautmann Umwelttechnik GmbH

Black Friday and Christmas
Black Friday and Christmas