Between product sourcing, marketing, warehousing and delivery, an average of nine months passes as retailers adjust their Christmas preparations.
The end of the year is fast approaching and retailers are preparing for the hottest season of the year. “For the first time, there will be Black Friday, Christmas and the FIFA World Cup,” commented Julien Piravitti, Commercial Director of Fnac d’Arte in France. For Hugo Larricq, Commercial Director of Cdiscount, “End of the year is our peak season, we will be selling our largest over the past month. One in two households will come to buy on Cdiscount. Out of 23 million unique average monthly visitors., 10 million will visit our site Black Friday.
At some retailers, the period represents 25-30% of sales volume and in play up to 50%. “The acceleration is massive. In certain categories, we will multiply our sales by 3, 4 or even 10,” testifies Vincent Jovelt, Director of Services and Operations at Fnac Darty Group. Despite the turbulent context, this period does not make Julian Piravitti of Fnack Darte anxious: “We are out of the back-to-school period where the market has reacted well and therefore we are not worried”. For Quentin Reygrobellet, President and Founder of Blissim Beauty Boxs, “Christmas is the biggest time of the year. For us, it starts September 15th with the release of our 50,000-copy beauty advent calendar and is set up a year in advance.” In Cdiscount, the period is set up instead of six to nine months in advance.
So Blissful opens hostilities a little earlier. “We’re shooting Brainstorming a year ago Quentin Regrobeliers explains that we receive our first creative proposals eleven months before launch. Sources are identified ten to eleven months prior to release. We will discuss with the brands in order to determine which products are of interest to us and which will be available.” At Fnac Darty, preparations for Christmas and Black Friday began at the end of 2021 for 2022: “We evaluated sales to see what worked, slowly started planning to see how many products we plan to sell “It’s getting the product before and in larger quantities,” reveals Vincent Jovelt, Group Director of Services and Operations, continues Julien Piravetti, France Sales Director at Fnac Darty. As a record player, we’re very active in product releases from day one. With the World Cup, the group intends to enter the image and audio categories at attractive prices and focus on large formats.
“We are working Six to nine months before that with suppliers Our collaboration with the Casino Group allows us to get high volumes, notes Hugo Larricq of Cdiscount. Our buying teams will negotiate in order to participate and secure the stock at the best prices.” The platform also benefits from its market position, “and together with 14,000 third-party sellers, it allows us to offer unlimited supply and come and source products in a state of tension,” continues Cdiscount’s commercial manager.
For Hugo Larricq, Cdiscount’s Commercial Director, “Black Friday is the beginning of Christmas. The post-Black Friday promotions will kick in at the beginning of November, and then we’ll focus around Christmas on guaranteed delivery.” This year’s market specific, “We’ve made a commitment to operations to bring back the purchasing power of consumers, with great offers and grand prizes. We’re also working on more responsible offerings,” notes the commercial director.
In Fnak Darti ‘Promotions will start From October to the World CupAnd the Black Friday in November And the Christmas early December. We’re working on Black Friday deals of the summer, letting some wiggle room at the last minute opportunity, but the basics are already set,” notes Julian Peravitti of Fnac Darty. For Blissim, the marketing campaigns don’t stand out. Not particularly at Christmas the rest of the year: “We have a fairly classic media mix with 360 campaigns that combine CRM, affiliation and care strategies. We are simply increasing our acquisition budgets. Starting November 7, we will be placing ads in the metro for our advent calendar,” reveals Blissim’s Quentin Reygrobellet.
Inventories and employment are on the rise
“Products arrive for Black Friday and Christmas in the summer, assures Vincent Jovelt, Director of Services and Operations Fnac Darty. In some categories, warehousing and selling in stores is complicated because products such as toys are so huge. Fnac Darty sees its inventory gradually rising from before Massive arrival starts at the end of October. “Sales teams plan for Black Friday and Christmas, as operations advance we have time to fine-tune and refine our forecasts according to market trends. Over the course of the year-end period, we went from 1,500 to 1,600 employees up to 2,300 to 2,500 people, up from 25-30% of staff,” adds Vincent Jovelt.
Cdiscount also does not increase the size or number of its repositories. “We are already flexible, Hugo Larric trusts. In warehouses, we are doubling our workforce and this is expected with the staffing cell so that we can work for a week, 24 hours a day.” Blissful depends on Temporary workers from November 1 Its founder and president explains: “We have twelve birthdays, so good data during this period. We embrace flexible logistics and adapt.”
Fast shipping and after-sales service always available
“Our challenge from Black Friday is to ship as quickly as possible. If we overburden the volume of products, we will adjust the delivery promise on our website. We necessarily guarantee Delivery before December 25th‘ says Vincent Gufflet of Fnac Darty. For Hugo Larricq of Cdiscount, ‘Delivery before Christmas is an enforced number. We guarantee this delivery before Christmas until Friday, December 23 in major cities.’
However, the Christmas period does not end at midnight on December 24th. “Starting December 25th and 26th we will be receiving calls regarding installation issues. After Christmas, coming back becomes an important activity that ends around December 31‘ continues the Director of Services and Operations at Fnac Darty. In Blissim, ‘The pre-Christmas after-sales service is bolstered by a software team that is mobilized throughout the day and all night. On the other hand, we don’t record anything specific in the return aspect: we have more orders and more returns inevitably, but our return rate at the beginning is very low, less than 1%”, explains Quentin Regrobelier.
At Cdiscount, for Hugo Larricq, “After sales service remains linear, we sell more products so there will be more questions, but returns management is not special, our price is low, less than 3% and often because of pullbacks.” Finally, the lull is short-lived, “We continue sales in January and then the annual renegotiation, before looking again at Christmas,” concludes Julien Perfetti, Commercial Director of Fenac d’Arte France. endless cycle.