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Celebrating success and setting the stage: Our ultimate end-of-year checklist for retailers

14 December 2023

As the year draws to a close, independent retailers find themselves at a crucial juncture — a time to reflect, express gratitude, and set the stage for a successful new year. In this guide tailored for our vibrant independent retail community, we’ll walk through a comprehensive end-of-year checklist. From thanking clients and suppliers to acknowledging your hardworking team and managing invoicing, let’s ensure your transition into the new year is both seamless and rewarding.

Alrie Velleman

1. Express gratitude:

Client appreciation

A small gesture goes a long way, and a simple “thank you” should not be underestimated. Kick off your end-of-year celebrations by expressing genuine gratitude to your clients. Consider personalised thank-you notes, exclusive discounts, or even a virtual event to show appreciation. Strengthening these relationships ensures loyalty and sets a positive tone for the upcoming year.

Here are a few ideas:

🗝 Exclusive offers

Surprise your loyal clients with exclusive discounts or early access to upcoming collections. The exclusivity of these offers makes your clients feel special, reinforcing the idea that their support is genuinely valued. In turn, this approach not only expresses appreciation but also serves as a strategic move to encourage repeat business. 

📱Social media shoutouts

Showcase your gratitude on social media platforms, publicly acknowledging your clients for their continued support. Craft engaging and visually appealing content highlighting your collaborative successes, product launches, or memorable moments throughout the year. Social media shoutouts turn your gratitude into a shared celebration, creating a positive buzz around your business while reflecting on your best moments with your clients. (For more tips on how to master social media this festive season, read here.)

📧 Personalised emails

Although a super simple gesture that requires minimal effort, a little bit of creativity can ensure this gesture is still impactful. In the fast-paced business world, a personal touch is often appreciated, so take a moment to think about how best to communicate gratitude through this digital medium aligned with your store’s values. For more ideas, read our blog post: Five ways to thank your customers this festive season – and why it matters

Supplier appreciation

As the backbone of your inventory, your suppliers play a crucial role in your success. Take the time to acknowledge their contribution by sending thoughtful gifts, sharing success stories, or collaborating on events that celebrate your suppliers. Remember,  a strong supplier relationship lays the foundation for future growth.

Here are simple but thoughtful ways to show appreciation for suppliers:

✍️ Handwritten letters

Go beyond digital communication and send handwritten letters to your suppliers. This personal touch adds a layer of sincerity that fosters a sense of partnership. 

🕥 Timely payments 

One of the pillars of a healthy business partnership is the commitment to fulfilling financial obligations promptly. Timely payments to your suppliers are not just a matter of transactional efficiency; they are a testament to your business ethics and integrity. By ensuring that invoices are settled within the agreed-upon timeframe, you demonstrate reliability and financial responsibility. This is especially important during the festive season. 

🤝 Collaborative events

Consider organising events or webinars that bring your suppliers into the spotlight. This collaborative approach strengthens the bond between you and your suppliers. Such events also provide an opportunity for open communication, allowing you to better understand each other’s needs and align your strategies for mutual benefit.

Team acknowledgement

Your team has worked tirelessly throughout the year. It’s the perfect time to reward commitment and host an end-of-year celebration! Set the stage for a motivated and inspired team in the coming year by recognising individual achievements and sharing positive feedback. 

Here are some ideas to make your team feel special: 

🎁 Customised gifts

Provide personalised gifts that align with each team member’s interests or hobbies. Think outside the box: gift cards for an experience, vouchers for restaurants or a personalised goodie bag. 

🥇 Escape Room Challenge

Organise a team-building escape room challenge. This not only encourages teamwork and problem-solving but also adds an element of fun and excitement to the end-of-year celebration.

🍴 Surprise lunch delivery

Consider partnering with local restaurants or catering services to provide a delicious meal as a token of appreciation.

2. Manage invoicing

The holiday season is a busy time for retailers and demands on your time and attention might be more than usual. However, it’s essential to remain in control of your finances by making time to review outstanding invoices, reconcile accounts, and plan for any necessary adjustments. An organised financial end ensures a stress-free start to the new fiscal year.

3. Set up for success

As the new year approaches, strategic planning becomes paramount for positioning your business for success. Adopt a knowledgeable strategy to gear up for the challenges and opportunities ahead.

  • Inventory optimisation: keep an eye on trend forecasts and optimise your inventory accordingly to ensure you start the year with a well-curated and profitable product lineup.
  • Digital presence enhancement: do a content audit of your website and other digital assets to make sure everything is up-to-date and relevant to your target audience.
  • Training and development: use insights from the previous year to establish where there were shortcomings and invest in the growth of your team through targeted training and development programs.


Strategically wrapping up the current year is essential to ensure you are prepared for the upcoming one. Here are the key takeaways from our end-of-year checklist for retailers: 

✔️Show your appreciation for your clients’ support through exclusive offers, social media shoutouts or personalised thank-you emails

✔️Strengthen your supplier relationships through handwritten thank-you letters and timely payments over the festive season

✔️Make sure your team feels appreciated – think out of the box when it comes to rewarding your employees for a job well done

✔️Organise your finances by reviewing outstanding invoices, reconciling accounts and planning for necessary adjustments

✔️Keep an eye on trend forecasts for a well-curated and profitable product lineup

✔️Audit your digital assets to ensure everything is updated

✔️Invest in training and development programs to support your team’s growth and contribute to overall success