How Grocery Store Owners Can Prepare for Their Busiest Holidays


 Holidays are notoriously busy times for grocery stores. Grocers prepare months ahead of time for Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, and the Fourth, as they will be packed for days, or even weeks, before the actual holiday. Knowing how to anticipate and meet your customers’ needs will make the difference between a successful holiday season and a lackluster one.

Most Commonly Celebrated Holidays

Wikipedia provides a list of the ten most commonly celebrated holidays in America, ranked by the percentage of people celebrating.

  1. Christmas
  2. Thanksgiving
  3. Mother’s Day
  4. Easter
  5. Fourth of July
  6. Father’s Day
  7. Halloween
  8. Valentine’s Day
  9. Patrick’s Day
  10. New Year’s Eve

All of these holidays involved food and beverage traditions, meaning that grocers will see an increase in traffic around these times.

Predict Customers’ Needs

Getting ready for holidays requires knowing what your customers need. 

Know When Your Busiest Times Are

The most hectic days around each holiday can be different for every store. Examine your past years’ sales to know whether you’re most likely to have more customers the Monday before Thanksgiving or the Saturday before Christmas. A Grocery Dive brief found that the Wednesday before Thanksgiving brings a 70-90 percent increase over baseline traffic in several major grocery chains.

Know What Products Are Popular

While there may be variation among customers depending on your location, for the most part, the most popular products remain the same across the country. For example, ice, beers, hamburgers, and hot dogs are the most popular Fourth of July products. 

Prepare Your Store

Once you know when and what to prepare for, you can start getting your store ready. Look at past sales in your POS System and take the current COVID-19 crisis into account to determine how you want to serve your customers.


With an increase in traffic, you’ll have an increase in sales. Make sure that you have enough inventory to cover the holiday rush. You can also place vendor orders ahead of time, to have items ready for early shoppers and to prepare if your vendor closes for the holiday. Keep a close eye on your merchandise throughout the days and weeks leading up to the holiday to re-stock or re-order items. Also make sure to keep track of your online orders effecting your inventory.


Many stores hire extra staff around their busy seasons. Even if you choose not to, ensure that you schedule more employees around your busiest times to prevent long lines and understocked shelves.

POS System

Having a good POS system can change everything for grocers around the holidays. A POS system can track your sales volume, whether per hour or per day, but the best systems will also accurately monitor your inventory. If you’re looking for an excellent POS system to help you out during the holidays, check out our software for grocers, by grocers.

Key Takeaways

  • Preparation is key to having a successful holiday season.
  • Use past data to predict when your busiest times are.
  • Know what the most popular products are.
  • Ensure that your inventory is well-stocked, especially for high demand items.
  • Be ready to hire extra staff if needed and schedule more employees for the busiest times.
  • Operate within the safety guidelines on COVID-19 provided by your local authorities.
  • With a good POS system, you will be able to monitor your inventory and traffic successfully.
  • Knowing how to prepare for holiday crowds will help you become a successful grocer. If you’re looking for more tips on how to shape a thriving grocery store, subscribe to our blog


George Goodwin is the Marketing Director at ITRetail 


George Goodwin


Ingenico US

Blog Tags

Also in Customer experience

08 Jul 24
ISVs: How to Get Past Payment Hardware Integration and Start Building Payments Revenues
01 Jul 24
How Payments Technology Enhances Experiences in the Checkout Lane
24 Jun 24
6 Challenges to Overcome When Positioning Your Business for the Future of Payments
03 Jun 24
What Are the Trends in Payments for 2024? See What’s Happening at the Checkout
28 May 24
Does Your Vending Solution Need a Facelift?
23 May 24
Redefining Merchant Services with Digital Experiences
07 May 24
Take the Pain Out of Custom Payment App Development
02 May 24
How Partnerships Deliver Complete Smart Vending Solutions
prev next