Business

Getting your business into the spirit this festive season

Whatever business you operate in at Christmas, ensuring the right additional cover is vital
Diane Johnston

THE Christmas season is officially upon us as we move into December, and thoughts of the season will dominate business owners and consumers alike.

As the retail landscape becomes increasingly competitive, it is essential to make sure you plan your festive retail operations effectively and consider all insurance elements.

With almost 50 per cent of annual retail transactions processed across the Christmas period, from November to January, having a successful season is essential for retailers.

As the years progress, Summit (2018) has seen the digital contribution to online sales exponentially increase; not having a strong peak season can cause large retail losses.

But with in-store retailing evolving to develop experiential shopping for customers, especially around the Christmas period, Retail Customer Experience (2018) claims that bricks and mortar stores are more important than ever.

Whatever your retail or professional services specialism, it is essential to protect your business over this busy period.

Karl Blakesley, marketing consultant at OrderWise, says retail businesses should aim to maximise sales opportunities to have a prosperous and profitable seasonal period. To ensure that this is achieved, it is imperative that appropriate cover is in place so that you are protected effectively during your holiday trading.

Ensure that your company has a sufficient retail policy to cover all aspects, including your stock. Stock management over Christmas is a fundamental element for success, but can also impact your insurance policy.

Retail insurers often increase their stock cover three out of 12 months a year to prepare for traditionally busy periods.

However, businesses should firstly check with their current provider which months apply under their specific policy and secondly ensure that these increases are sufficient for the business needs and amend as necessary.

Once additional stock has been delivered to your store, it is crucial that it is stored correctly to prevent stock damage, and to avoid workplace injuries.

Implementing a ‘racks and stillage' process, storing stock at a certain level about the ground of your stockroom to combat flooding risks, is key element of preparation to carry out. This will make sure that your policy can be implemented effectively in the event of any flooding risks.

Your retail policy is generally not affected by an increase in employees, such as temporary Christmas staff. However, with additional employees and an increased number of customers within your store, review your shop floor for any hazards and build a culture of safety within your store.

Slips, trips and falls are common, particularly with wintry weather outside your shop doors, so check that your insurance policy covers you in the event of customer incidents.

However your company operates over Christmas, make sure that your insurance policy covers you effectively. That way, you can focus on the festivities taking place, with full assurance that your business is appropriately protected.

:: Diane Johnston is head of SME at Autoline Insurance Group (www.autoline.co.uk/business)

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