After the subdued festivity of last year, consumers are coming into year’s holiday season with extra enthusiasm. Smart convenience retailers should position themselves to capitalize.

Those Christmas decorations going up in August at your local big box retailer weren’t necessarily a clue, but there are indications that this Holiday Season might have a little more “oomph” to it. In 2020, it was estimated that 34 million fewer people traveled for the holidays. That, and the rest of the events that conspired to dampen last year’s Thanksgiving and Christmas could well spell pent up demand from consumers as they look for at least a partial return to “normalcy.”

That’s good news in general, and especially for retailers. Retail holiday spending is estimated to reach $206 billion this year, and the convenience store industry is part of the mix. While labor shortages and supply chain issues continue to affect the industry, most operators are looking to benefit from the anticipated upturn. NACS reveals that almost 75% of convenience store owners expect business to increase during the holidays beyond pre-COVID levels. Optimism remains, not just for merchandise sales, but for fuel as well.

Of course, if a convenience store wants to capitalize on renewed holiday cheer from its patrons, it can’t be passive; it must be proactive. The holidays aren’t quite like the rest of the year; a retailer needs to be prepared for the onslaught of holiday peeps, limited edition Sprite flavors, or a Pringle’s Thanksgiving holiday tray—among other things—and make them work for the store.

A good start for the convenience retailer is making sure the store has the right merchandise mix in time to capitalize on their holiday profit potential and know how those items should be priced, including quick feedback on the profitability of holiday mix and match and combo promotions.

This knowledge can’t be achieved by guessing in a vacuum. It takes a detailed knowledge of sales activity and performance over time, while providing enough “in the minute” responsiveness and flexibility to allow for necessary “turn on a dime” pricing changes. Tracking inventory detail by line item is the only reasonable way to do this, and technology is the only feasible way to make it happen.

If you are a convenience retailer that is seeking technology to optimize sales, not just for the holidays, but year ‘round, you might want to consider SSCS Software. Our inventory management solutions have been evolving for decades to keep up with the demands of the market, and our experience in providing them gives us a knowledgeable perspective that is unique. If you have any questions about how SSCS technology can help you maximize your holiday cheer by growing profits now and in the future, please give us a call at 1-800-972-7727.