2016 has gotten off to a fast start, with January already wrapped up. And retail is already discussing Holiday 2016! Great Northern Instore captured the trends and insights from the season that just wrapped up. Our national team visited more than 40 stores across the country from East Coast, Midwest, and West Coast. These audits encompassed many different retail environments: mass, drug, grocery, club, and many specialty outlets. To streamline the process, we utilized a Cloud based app to request and collect the data from the team.
We categorized our findings into three different retail solutions: 1) Building Experiences and Events, 2) Connecting with the Connected Shopper, and 3) What the Shopper Wants.
Shoppers visit stores based on a particular mission or need. During the holiday time, this can include gift hunting for family and friends, finding items to decorate the home, or getting all the things needed for that special holiday party. From our questionnaire, we saw about 75% of stores had a holiday themed entrance to welcome the shopper (what happened to the other 25% of stores?). Retailers like Target and Walmart devote well merchandised holiday sections that get the shopper in the holiday mood. Across the board, brick and mortar retailers tried to bring the holiday wonder back to the shopping experience.
In order to reach the connected shopper, several manufacturers leveraged the Pinterest logo on their store displays in the grocery channel. These manufacturers were highlighting the social content that showed the creative holiday uses of their products. Home Depot created special displays that demonstrated their online assortment, especially bulky lawn ornaments. It offered free shipping for these items, so the shopper could browse their selection and not be concerned about transporting the item home on their own.
Gift cards continue to grow as a convenient gift idea. Displays have gotten more elaborate, with curves, angles, and even executions shaped as gift boxes. Continuing the theme of providing the customer what they want, this holiday season of Star Wars came to life at all retail outlets. Displays ranged from simple signage to elaborate 3D models of characters, such as the beloved R2D2. Finally stores and manufacturers offered programs that provided solutions, making the shopping experience easier. From power supply and battery solutions, gift wrapping stations, to baking centers…there were some great executions that made it easier for the shopper.
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