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Christmas shopping & Merchandising

Christmas shopping & Merchandising

In-Store-Merchandising is a well know thing and in many cases boosts the sale if correctly executed, but for a 3 year old it can be overwhelming when everything you desire is in your reaching distance.

I got the taste my self yesterday when taking my family out christmas shopping, and the agenda was to have a little family-season-togethertime. We had made a list what to look for and what to buy in many cases so it was pretty well planned as not to become many hours searching. Planning was mostly done on the internet and the list contained pictures, departments and so on. After 3 hours in the store, searching for only few presents so to speak the family was exhausted.

After one hour my 3 year old had picked as many gifts for her self as we where supposed to buy for presents and when dad tried to tell her that we where only christmas shopping for others in our family she got really sad. She did understand the facts but fought for a red skirt though, as seen on the picture above, and with this body language and eyes peeping up every time to see if dad had given up and a hidden smile when she saw dad came along, she won.

I as a merchandising manager started to wonder why did she pick this skirt when it was not on the “hot spots” for 3 year olds. Why did she fight for only this item when she had picked so many other things in her shopping basket. I wanted to know and asked. The answer came without a hesitation “Dad, my friend has one”

I got it … the pressure from the social world is so high, even for a 3 year old, that it outshines all the merchandising tricks in the book. This skirt was the most important item and important for her to become one of “the pack” or to look like someone in the friend sone. This was an eye opener for me and will for sure effect my decisions in the future that the social pressure is so high. Of course is one other factor that she really liked the skirt and is much into dressing up, but still this answer that came without hesitation struck me.

After 3 hours in the H&M store the family had splitten up, I took the youngest one for a walk, and tried to entertain her while my wife did the searching and shopping. My older one asked why didn´t we just buy this online and have some fun today, while she browsed through the “Trending” catalogue on youtube, to see whats the latest in the fashion, where to buy it and who recommends it. The new generation are more into having fun-time and do the shopping online. This is becoming two separate things as the shopping is not fun and there is less and less entertainment in the stores. Shopping & fun are not done at the same time for the new generation.

The picture I had in my head with the family holding hands during christmas shopping, laughing and enjoying all the beautiful items shining in the stores, in-store entertainment and fun was wrong. Immediately my innovative mind started working on how to learn from this and how will the future in merchandising look like. Will there be someone famous recommending every item, on every price tag or a poster, will there be a youtube screen besides every department with the hottest trends on youtube or will the online shopping go through the roof in the coming years.

For me this will be the endless search for the right thing to do. It will change every year and the changes will become more and more complicated. This will be a challenge every year and the merchandising industry need to follow the trends. Online merchandising is to be needed more and more and merchandising will of course develop every year.

What is your your experience of christmas shopping ?

Bjarni Kristinsson

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