Just a few days to go

Now is the best and worst of times. For all retailers Christmas is absolutely crucial and means long hours, extra days and hard work for all the staff.

Even back in the days when Woolworths was successful, it was loss-making for much of the year, recouping that and making a profit only in December. Majestic isn’t as extreme but we still have to maximise every opportunity, hence the lack of blog posts recently. Because of the inevitable time lag between order and delivery, the website necessarily slows down just as the stores themselves are hitting top-gear, so I have time to take stock and review our performance.

Inevitably in the growing internet market, sales every Christmas are higher than the previous year, but we’re really pleased to have exceeded expectations on the web this year. In the peak week we took around 10,000 orders, and at one point they were coming in at four or five a minute. It’s a compelling experience watching the sales curve tick upwards during the day.

Of course (in true Gwyneth Paltrow) style I have lots of people to thank. Specifically the in-house team (Richard, Simon, Gary, Tracy, Jamie, Cristina and Amy), Ed and Andy in our Gift Solutions office, Clayton in St Johns Wood, and all the store staff who actually convert orders into sales. Thanks all – it was a pleasure as usual!

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