Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The Christmas Review

As John Lennon once penned

All day long we will be wombling in the snow,
We wish you a Wombling Merry Christmas.
All day long we will be laughing as we go.
We wish you a Wombling Merry Christmas.

hang on...let's try this one.

And so this is Christmas
For weak and for strong
For rich and the poor ones
The road is so long

yes, that's more like it.

and so, that was christmas was it? Well, as far as I can see it was.
And how was it on the 'frontline'?
well the answer isn't too bad at all.

I have to say that this being the first Big Green Christmas we didn't have anything to compare it to, so we can probably make a more accurate judgement in 12 months time. But it looks like we did OK. From Friday 12th December Christmas really started and kept going right up until 24th. In fact Christmas eve was our busiest day, which surprised me (I've been used to working in Central London, where Xmas eve tends to be mental mental in the morning and then quiet), although there wasn't much in it from the Saturday before Chrimbo.
We managed to keep the spending down, which is essential in our first year. Our request for customers to donte their old decorations went down really well and the shop looked very shiny. We printed 10,000 leaflets which (once again) our customers helped deliver and hand out. We had an offer on the leaflets giving the recipient 10% off a single transaction, and this was deifinitely worth it. It introduced loads of new customers to the shop and the amount we actually discounted over Christmas was negligable compared with the extra custom. It also means that there are hundreds of people who know where we are now, and will use the Big Green Bookshop in the future.
We borrowed Tim's son's CD player, and with the 'The Daily Mirror's Best Xmas CD in the World' from 1999 and The Super soaraway Sun's 'Now That's What I Call Apalling Xmas Cover Versions' from about the same time, our customers endured some truly festive tunes.
We managed to spend about the same amount on books during November and December than we have done in previous months (December's spend was a little less actually) which surprised me, and at first glance it seems that we don't have too much excess stock to send back to the publishers. Now that our stockholding is a little less than it was before Christmas it looks like we're going to be able to give 3 or 4 more bookcases to display without jeopardising the quality of our range.
In the end we didn't need to take anyone on over December as Tim and I didn't have days off instead! Except when Tim's varicose vein exploded, or I pulled a muscle in my back, or Tim got run over, or I got a virus. But it didn't keep us away for long and we staggered back for more punishment after each and every injury.

We closed for 4 whole days, and I think we both needed the break. Tim spent time in London with his family and Katie, Freya and I travelled to Hazelmere, Brighton, Portsmouth and Hazelmere again in an epic 3 day, 3 feast tour of our families.

Here is a photo of some of my lovely presents

Here are some photos of the centre of attention

So, now we're back at work and there's an absolute load to do. The decorations are down now, and we're going to rearrange the room we laughingly describe as the office. We have a couple of big orders to put together for account customers and we've got a programme of events to organise for the new year. We've got some interesting new things we want to try in 2009, which hopefully will appeal to our customers, and also we have big plans for our website (like actually sending the stuff that the very patient designer has asked us for), and there's lots more.
But that's for another time.

Blog and bookshop new year resolutions soon...


Anonymous said...

I wandered down to Wood Green a couple of days ago and saw the shop was shut. Oh, how I cried. But then I thought of you and Tim, all nice and warm, dressed in your festive costumes, enjoying time with your families. And I felt a little bit worse.

yorkshiregirl said...

Happy New Year to you both - here's wishing you a profitable (and enjoyable to boot) 2009

womagwriter said...

A belated merry Christmas and happy New Year to you too. Wish I lived in Wood Green. Or that the BGB was in Bournemouth. When will you open a second branch, I wonder?