Wakefields forecasts positive Christmas trading

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Retailer says early planning of marketing has been essential.

Wakefields Jewellers in Horsham is forecasting that its festive sales this year will be up on 2012.

The retailer has employed a multichannel marketing strategy this year to promote its Wish List service. Details of the initiative were sent out through its website, Facebook and Twitter pages, as well as through averts on the radio and in newspapers, and also in its store brochure, which gets posted to its top 5,000 customers.

Co-owner Melanie Wakefield told Professional Jeweller: "Pandora is still ever popular and we wouldn’t be without it."

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Co-owner Dominic Wakefield added that the business is expecting to be up on last year, due to the store performance to date and the investments in stock, training and marketing. "We are delighted with 2013 to date with sales showing significant double-digit growth on 2012, " he said. 

The retailer this year launched a more comprehensive marketing plan, dating back to the spring of 2013, something she says has helped.

Melanie Wakefield added: "We had a design that we built our radio, visual merchandising, catalogue, billboards, newspaper [ads] and website around. The feedback so far has been great, though we need to get to 25th December to see if it’s paid off."

However the festive trading period has not been without its challenges to date, espcially in terms of product delivery times. "Our challenge has been getting exactly the right pieces in," stated Melanie Wakefield. "For example, looking at a piece of jewellery such as a Links bracelet at £85 and knowing if you push it, you could sell loads. But then ordering it, only to find they can’t deliver until after Christmas."

Wakefields described watches as "a fundamental part of Christmas sales", and said that the store had noted a trend in shoppers buying more than one watch. Dominic Wakefield said: "We are seeing a trend of investing in quality, not just fashion."

Dominic Wakefield added that staffing levels have been hard this year, as has trying to predict footfall patterns. "We always seem under prepared at certain points of the day, which is inevitable at Christmas," he added.
 

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