For Carlisle, Pa.-based retail chain GIANT, seasonal promotions play a key role in helping to create differentiation and setting the stage for “theater presentation” within and across the store, said Ted Williams, GIANT’s director of nonfoods.

Seasonal promotions have always played a major role in GIANT’s merchandising plans, Williams said. But over time, the chain’s department managers and other decision makers have refined their best practices to improve the end product consumers see.

“Seasonal never really lost importance — it’s the continuous improvement of item curation and merchandising practices that have evolved to allow for creativity to better meet the needs of our customers,” Williams said. “So while it appears that seasonal has gained in importance, in reality, everyone has just ‘upped their game’ over time.”

Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day and other traditional seasonal highlights all have elements that make them special, Williams added.

“They allow for collaboration across the store departments to create destination areas. It’s in this spirit, working together to help to create that separation and creative visuals within the store.”

Collaboration is key to creating successful seasonal events, Williams said. It begins with the customer experience in mind and assembling the key players, including GIANT’s retail operation teams, to help bring the vision to life.

“It starts before the first product is even purchased by the buying team. The strategy creates the road map and collaboration with the teams make it happen.”