Why is it that so many people start thinking about Christmas during the summer months? Is it because the long for they warmth and cheer of the holidays, of nostalgic days, and family gatherings? Or is it more likely that many people start preparing for Christmas in advance because that is when retail sales are at their peak? This being the case, it certainly leaves many retailers making big plans during the summertime for the potential winter sales. There are certain things every retailer can do to ensure more successful winter sales, even if in the face of a difficult or soft season. Clearance: Clear out all that old stock and better to do it before Labor Day. Make it an annual habit, like a spring cleanout in the summer months. This will allow you to benefit from clearance sales and it will free up storage room for newer, fresh, more desirable inventory. Markdown everything you want to get rid of and spare no markdown to do it! Refresh Your Retail Nest: Speaking of spring-cleaning, the summer months is a good time to revamp your store. Clean and polish everything, organize your inventory, touch up some paint, and make the site look fantastic for consumers. Try to establish a welcoming environment for your customers. Fix any broken lights and do any necessary light repairs. Improve the Floor Layout: Have you seen some customers trying to squeeze through racks that are too close together? Is the floor layout less than sensible? Does your floor plan need a bit of a revamp? Now is a great time, as you prepare for the Winter season, to rearrange the store layout and make things look fresh. Find out about merchandise islands and how your retail location can benefit from creating them. Time for employee reviews: Employee reviews are not just a great time to assess employees, it is also a wonderful time to incite employees into action: To motivate and even inspire them. Of course, evaluations also give you a chance to weed out any employee that does not offer a positive contribution to your business.