How to beat the Christmas chaos
Quick tips for avoiding shopping centre madness
There is just under two months to Christmas! As exciting as this season is am I the only one freaking out on what to buy my loved ones this year?? Having worked in retail for more than six years, I’ve picked up a few tricks to beating that mad dash and shopping centre chaos.
Do your research
I feel like a teacher saying this but just like in school be sure to do your homework before you arrive at the shops. There is nothing wrong with window-shopping but if you are like me, you will need to know what you want and where you can get it from ahead of time. With the current checkout lines, I would definitely suggest planning ahead!
Put the kettle on, grab a pen and paper, and literally sit down to think about all the people you need to buy a present for this year. Once you have a list of names, consider t things that person might like or needs and dot a few options down just in case option one is no longer on the cards (as items are likely to be sold out).
- Person 1 - books, candles, chocolates, hand cream, voucher etc…
- Person 2 – new wallet, favourite colon, shirt, socks etc…
Working in retail for as long as I have you start to notice certain patterns and peaks in customer flow, especially the closer you get to Christmas. Now, I am not saying don’t go to the shops at these times but if you don’t want to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of those nasty long queues and squishy aisles I would typically try to avoid these hours of the day.
Beat the peak!
Lunch time rush hours 11:30am – 2pm
Weekends, just avoid in general as they are chaos especially between 10am – 3pm
If you are pressed for time to get your shopping done this Christmas, just remember most big retailers will have extended trading hours.
A rough guide to major retailers trading hours this Christmas;
- 8am – 9pm Weekdays
- 8am – 5pm Saturday
- 11am – 5pm Sunday
But. Wait there is more! Who wouldn’t want to take advantage of these trading hours, late night shopping is on Thursday evenings at major shopping centres plus late trading in the CBD on Friday’s.
Eat, Drink, Relax
Now you have checked your list twice, presents all wrapped and stacked under the Christmas tree, pour yourself a glass of wine, put your feet up and enjoy the rest of the festive season with those who matter most to you!
Four tips to beat the Christmas chaos
- It’s never too early to start shopping! Seriously! Two months may seem ages away BUT trust me before you know it you’ll be wishing you got that head start!
- If you see something a loved one would like. BUY IT!! Don’t wait until next time because I can guarantee 9/10 times when you go back they won’t have any stock left and then you have to make the dreaded decision to go chasing this item or forget it even existed.
- Like Santa Claus make a list and check it twice! You don’t want to be doing a mad dash on the last week, especially on Christmas eve, to sort out forgotten presents.
- Be effective and efficient… what does she mean? I find the best way to keep track of what you have bought and what else you need to buy is by wrapping the presents as you get them, therefore you won’t be stranded at 4:55pm on Christmas eve wondering how you are going to wrap that last present you didn’t account any bags or wrap for.
- Take advantage of extended trading hours!! You might think it’s quicker to go on your lunch break or spare an hour or two during peak hour (10am – 3pm) on the weekends. But, honestly it’s not worth all the hassle and stress. If you’re buying from major retailers such as Kmart, Target, Big W, David Jones or Myers etc.. take advantage of their extended late night trading hours during the week.
It is scary to think that another Christmas is just around the corner. Before you start panicking this Christmas, sit down and plan ahead. This way you can confidently stroll into the shopping centre and walk out with a smile knowing that you have got this year’s Christmas sorted!