For retailers, the holiday season is their busiest time of year. For college stores, however, there are multiple busy periods. Rush and buyback (which can each occur 2-4 times a year), as well as campus events fill your calendar in a hurry. We know it can get a little overwhelming, so we’ve compiled a few tips to help you make it through the madness.
1. Stay stocked
Hopefully you already have what you need in respect to actual merchandise before the crowds start pouring, but what about supplies at the registers? Plastic bags, rubber bands, paper clips, scrap paper, pens, markers, change and small bills — running out of any of these during a busy period could fluster even an experienced cashier, so stay on top of your supplies. Aim to merchandise smaller items students might be looking for like blue books, scantrons and highlighters conveniently for pickup on their way to check out. This is an opportunity to showcase impulse-buy items since your customers will have to wait in line for a little while.
2. Have some fun
Plan a giveaway or other event to coincide with rush. Even if all you can manage is something as simple as handing out small treats, showing your students that you appreciate them will go a long way toward alleviating the stress they may feel from the hectic atmosphere and any beginning of semester blues. Creating a fun environment for your customers and staff will help make the experience more positive for everyone — and increase the chances that your customers will want to come back.
3. Take a break
Make sure you and your staff take breaks whenever possible. Having a couple of minutes to recharge will make a big difference in attitude and endurance. Here are a few 5 minute or less stress busters for when you manage to step off the sales floor.
4. Watch the caffeine
That triple mocha extra-large cup of espresso-y goodness may seem like the answer when you’ve got most of the day still ahead of you, but it can actually hurt more than help. Loading up on caffeine-heavy beverages is often accompanied by serious sugar intake — and that means an energy crash will be heading your way. Instead, stay hydrated properly and drink as much water as possible. Plus, chugging water throughout the day means you’ll have to take a bathroom break at some point, and that guarantees you at least a little respite from the register.
5. Your shoes will make or break you
It’s tough to be friendly, approachable and understanding when your feet are killing you, so make sure you wear the most comfortable shoes allowed by your store’s dress code. Insoles can also make a big difference, so check out your options there.
6. Remember, busy is the goal
It can be hard to keep this in mind when the line is never-ending and it feels like a million years until you can go home and relax, but you actually want your store to be busy. So hang in there, and remember to take stock of what works well and what needs tweaking for the future.
Plan ahead for next time
Do you promote your store’s events to your students in advance? When they know exactly what to expect and when they can purchase, pick up books or sell them back, your turnout and results will improve. That’s why we provide 11 different theme options in our promo guide, each completely customizable with your store’s information. The templates include posters, door-hangers, social media images, shelf tags and more. Use one or more of our templates, or even design your own.
Originally posted 1/21/2015