Imagine if you only had 3 months to make an entire year’s worth of profit. Sounds impossible, right? This is the harsh reality for thousands of seasonal business. Even certain retail stores like toy, jewelry,candy and novelty stores do the bulk of their business during the Christmas holiday shopping season. A 2012 retail survey conducted by FedEx revealed that almost one-third of US retailers rely on the holiday season to keep them in business. The weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas are the most important of the year for retail stores.
The holiday season is crucial not only to regular retail stores, but also to those whose businesses revolve around a holiday theme. From ornament stores to tree and chestnut farmers, these businesses work all year long to make the last two months of the year pay off in profits. “It’s like running a marathon, but the race doesn’t really start until October,” stated one business owner. “If business is off for even three or four days, it can have a huge impact. That’s like losing a month of business for a regular retail store, There’s little we can do to recover from that.”
Profits aren’t the only things that are up at the end of the year for these seasonal companies. Advertising dollars, transportation, power and heating costs, insurance and other costs of doing business are higher at the end of the year, as well. So, there’s even more pressure for seasonal companies to sell sell sell.
While most of us are cozy around the fire or the Christmas tree, these hard-working retailers are putting their personal lives on hold to make sure we have a happy holiday by supplying trees, gifts handicrafts and other seasonal goods. They look forward all year for Christmas, but not for the same reasons as you and I do. The results of holiday sales will mean profit or loss for their business and determine their business strategy for the following year. The future success of their companies very much depend on holiday profits.
So the next time you hear a Christmas commercial on the radio or TV for the thousandth time, instead of changing the channel, try to remember that the heavy rotation of these ads cost small retailers a great deal of money. They have a very short window of time in which to sell their products and services. The amount of merchandise they move in November and December is absolutely critical to their bottom line. Supporting small retailers is a great way to mindfully spend your holiday dollars and keep seasonal retailers in business for next Christmas.