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No Tricks, Just Tips for a Spooktacular Fall!

Did you go to a big box store recently and happen to notice that Fall and Halloween merchandise is everywhere? Pumpkins are outside and ripe for the picking, candy is overflowing from the grocery shelves, and, my personal favorite, Halloween Oreos, are back! But, how do these big box stores relate to sales at small businesses? What do you need to know to make the Fall and Halloween season a success at your store? Today, we have some helpful tips for you from an industry expert, the sales manager of The Southern Link, Matt Pope.

Q: Hi, Matt! What are you telling your sales team right now that could help our retailers prepare for Fall selling season?

MATT: I want our reps to make sure they tell customers on a regular basis regarding Fall and Halloween that the two are really one and the same. Christmas starts the day after Halloween now! They will be missing sales by not having Fall AND Halloween merchandise out. These should be side by side vignettes in the store. Once Halloween is over, the remaining product can easily be boxed up for next year.

Q: Oh, that makes total sense. September hit so quickly!

MATT: It sure did. Customers should also know that it is NOT too late to buy add on’s for Halloween! Get those orders in with companies that can deliver quickly. It is NOT too early to have pumpkins and everything out! Real pumpkins are hitting big box stores now.

Q: I noticed that! How would you tell small retailers to relate to the big box stores? Is the timeline the same?

MATT: I would tell mom-and-pops to try and get their Fall out before big box, but that’s virtually impossible with Holiday items. I will say that the most important thing to remember is to make sure you have enough of a season BEFORE Black Friday to sell. Because once Black Friday rolls around, big box stores start discounting! This is especially true with apparel; don’t get apparel out too late because all apparel will get discounted at big box stores starting on Black Friday. Then, it becomes a price war.

Q: Sounds dangerous. Matt, you’ve given us some fantastic insights today. Can you give us one more take away piece of advice?

MATT: Do not wait until October to fill in what you didn’t get for Holiday. You will absolutely not get everything you ordered. If the vendor didn’t get enough orders for a certain product, it could have been dropped. And now vendors are trying to get their stock levels for Fall to drop to zero. It will be increasingly difficult to fill in for Holiday leading up to October. Don’t wait!

There you have it! Thank you to Matt Pope from The Southern Link for his wisdom, and as always, make sure you contact your territory manager to get those orders in!