By Eliana Barriga
Publisher and Managing Editor for The Retail Observer
During the holidays I am usually inspired to write about the warm and fuzzy side of the season. But this year, I would like to address an issue that seems to only be getting worse, and that’s Holiday Stress. According to recent studies, 72% of people report a heightened level of stress during the holidays; especially women and lower middle income individuals.
Whether you are religious or not, during this time of year we are all inundated with messages of good cheer, gratitude, happiness and love. All words that seem on the opposite side of stress. So what gives? Well, we are also much busier with family gatherings, holiday events, traveling and shopping. Here are the top things that Consumer Reports found Americans dread about holiday shopping. I also provide some ways you can alleviate these stressors.
• 68%:Crowdsandlonglines;properlystaffyourstoresocustomersdon’thave to wait
• 37%:Gettingintodebt;offer2for1bundlepackagesandbonusgiftssothey can check more people off their list for less
• 23%: Seasonal music; mix up your playlist with music that doesn’t include Rudolph
• 15%:Having to be nice; provide stellar customer service to everyone, even Grinches
With a little awareness and planning, independents retailers across the country can help make sure more of us enjoy a warm and fuzzy holiday season this year with less stress.