Holiday Workforce Management: Staffing by Day of Week

Effective Holiday Workforce Management: Staffing by Day of Week

Workforce Management  is Critical During the Holidays

As we pass the middle of November, retailers are already feeling the holiday rush. Store managers should be finalizing holiday staffing schedules because ShopperTrak is predicting that 3 of the 10 busiest shopping days of the holiday season will occur between now and November 31. An interesting trend in ShopperTrak’s data shows that holiday shoppers are more likely than regular shoppers to shop on weekends– especially on Fridays.

Trend Across All Retailers

Below is a graph that shows daily shopping trends as a percentage of overall weekly traffic during the holiday season versus the rest of the year. The data was collected during the 2012 and 2013 holiday seasons.

A few points on general retail trends:

  • Shopping rates on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday are similar to the rest of the year across all retailers. However, mid-week shopping (Tuesday – Thursday) is consistently decreasing, but Friday becomes a more popular shopping day during the holidays.
  • It’s important to note that these graphs depict relative daily shopping rates, and that all days are busier during the holiday season, overall.
Differences in Apparel Shopping

Apparel retailers are expected to see a poignant difference between weekday and weekend shopping over the holidays, as 57.7% of apparel shopping during the holidays is done between Friday and Sunday versus 54.5% during non-holiday times.

A few things apparel retailers should keep in mind:

  • Sunday is a heavy traffic day for apparel retailers but it is often overlooked. Due to condensed operating hours, Sunday typically has highest visitors per hour of day, which is a key metric for retailers to watch.
  • More than 3% of weekly traffic shifts from other days to Friday for apparel retailers during the holidays, representing the largest change of any single day. Apparel retailers should pay attention to the increased traffic on Fridays and plan staffing accordingly.
Less Seasonal Change for Wireless and Electronics

Wireless and electronics retailers are anticipated to grow by 4%, outpacing general retailers. Seasonal changes in percentage of daily traffic are less pronounced, historically, for this segment.

A few tips for wireless and electronics retailers:

  • Sunday is a significantly worse day for wireless and electronics retailers than for all retail, with just 11.9% of weekly traffic. Retailers should be thinking about strategies to grow this number, as Sunday is a very strong day in other sectors.
  • Saturday traffic was flat across all retailers but increased during the holidays for wireless and electronics stores. While other retailers might want to focus on increasing Friday and Sunday staffing, wireless and electronics retailers should be most concerned about Saturday.

Retailers across all sectors should pay close attention to day-to-day differences in store traffic over the holidays. While overall traffic obviously increases, different verticals behave differently and should be staffed accordingly. For more information on how ShopperTrak helps retailers with improving workforce management efficiency, schedule a demo today.

Read more posts by Melissa Dabrowski

Melissa is experienced in sales production, account management and project management with expertise in building customer facing programs that enhance the core business products.

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