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Retailers optimistic about the holidays

Retailers need to prepare for running promotions throughout the year, but it's especially important they have an up-to-date cash and check scanner on hand before the holiday season hits. While winter is still several months away, merchants need to prepare early on, especially if they want to be able to serve clients as optimally as possible, streamline backroom tasks and spend less time processing transactions.

Optimism about upcoming holiday season strong among retailers
A new survey revealed despite the still struggling economy, most business owners are optimistic about the upcoming holiday season, meaning they need to order additional inventory, update their cash and check scanners and hire new employees before it's too late in the year. According to a survey by online working capital provider Kabbage, 41 percent of business owners expect to do more business this year than they did at the end of 2012 and many plan to increase their borrowing to make their goals a reality and ensure success in the coming months.

Consumers may be a little less hesitant to make large purchases than they were in previous years, especially if retailers continue to better the customer experience and their offerings. According to a new report from Retail TouchPoints, spending should grow by about 3 percent, keeping in mind population growth and consumer sentiment.

"Tax breaks last year took money out of consumers' pockets, but there has been little talk of the impact that will have on holiday spending this year," said Larry Freed CEO of ForeSee Results. "However, I think spending will hold steady or will increase slightly this holiday season for the following reasons: The dip in paychecks due to the January 1 tax implications didn't seem to have a negative impact on spending so far this year. Additionally, the economy has somewhat stabilized and consumers' concern about the next financial pothole don't seem to be top of mind."

As retailers begin to determine what in-demand products they'll stock this holiday season and prepare sales forecasts, it will be essential for them to also take the steps necessary to streamline processes and ensure they provide shoppers with an enjoyable experience in the coming months. By hiring more employees to assist consumers on the sales floor, as well as investing in a new dual purpose cash and check scanning machine, business owners can be certain everything will operate smoothly during the holidays.

August 27, 2013