How to make the most of February

How to make the most of February
"February is a busy preparation month" Ned Trier, The Gluttonous Gardener

By Jackie Mitchell

Traditionally, February is a quiet month (apart from Valentine’s Day) following a hectic Christmas, so how do you make the most of this fallow period to make 2017 a profitable year? We asked several retailers, both online and offline, how they spend February:

Mark Woolley from Paper High uses the month to wind down, tie up loose ends, place orders and plan the buying cycle. “We welcome the month to be quiet. We check our stock, tidy up and get everything sorted out. We’re not actively trying to drum up trade as we need this month to plan. We have a new brochure and price list coming out.”

February is an ideal month to go on any buying trips. Woolley is travelling to India and Nepal to buy new products. Since the company moved to a larger warehouse, they can consider bigger products. “So we’ll be looking at mirrors, big wire ducks, outdoor ornaments. When we had a smaller warehouse, we were limited, but now our eyes will be open to anything when we visit India and Nepal.”

Product development is high on the agenda for Ned Trier at The Gluttonous Gardener. “We create our own products from scratch. February is a busy preparation month when we can sit back after the chaos of Christmas and get a bit more organised. We work with various nurseries in Europe who grow plants for us. We speak to them to ascertain the sizes and quantities we’d like to use. We buy most of our nursery stock when the plants are still dormant – we’ve already done most of that, although we buy a last batch in February.”

The month presents an opportunity to get practical jobs done such as the painting of the warehouse floor and laying a new stair carpet in the office. “We’re in the nursery sorting out the flooded areas and putting in new gravel,” he adds.

February is a great month for planning marketing activities. Trier says they are planning their marketing for Mother’s Day and Father’s Day.

Not all retailers will be quiet in February. Marie Truelove, owner of Truelove, a lingerie shop in Barnes, will be capitalising on all the publicity surrounding Valentine’s Day to boost business. “In the run up there will be press articles about finding your perfect bra size and so on, so you need to take advantage of that and ride that wave. We’re making a “Window of Love” display with a giant heart motif and asking our customers to write a message to their loved one on a post it note which will be stuck on. We’ll be holding a special event on the day offering customers a glass of champagne and introducing our spring and summer lingerie collections.”

Truelove uses Valentine’s Day as a reminder to her customers it’s time for them to review their lingerie drawer. “We also sell swimwear in February as we find many people are going on holiday – many more than last year. February can be a bad month if you don’t do something about it. You need to give customers a nice surprise.”