How to Manage your Cash Efficiently During the Holiday Season

| Customer Experience

With Thanksgiving fast approaching, holiday trading performance in retail can be critical in making sure end-of-year revenues are achieved. Stores experience exponential growth in footfall during holiday periods and the efficiency of the store operations are a major factor in the success, or unsuccess if management incorrectly.

Whether customers are using cash to allow them to budget with cash specifically for the gifts they’re purchasing or spending cash they have received as a gift, cash is always plentiful during the holiday season.

So, what are some of the challenges your employees might face over the holiday weekend?


Increased demand for change

With an overall higher volume of cash and a potentially higher mix of high-value bill denominations that deplete change reserves – cashiers will find their demand for change increases significantly during this period. Big bills are having to be broken down, and a considerable pain for many retail staff is not having enough $1 and $5 bills to make change for customers. Even with a weekly change order, stores can often run low on low-value bills and coins due to the unpredictability and increase in revenue.

What could this potentially mean for your staff and customers?

  • Running out of change midway through a shift, necessitating closures of tills and lost trading while the change is replenished.
  • Staff off the shop floor at peak trading times – perhaps even needing to leave the store to obtain additional change.
  • Cash being pulled from the main safe – this can take up to 5 minutes and cause security risks and liability of opening during store operating hours.
  • Disruption to multiple registers, as change is moved and exchanged between cashiers to enable them to make change for customer transactions - taking up the time of more than one employee and increasing the wait time for customers
  • Wasted time and cash loss due to miscounts and errors that are caused when trading bills between the safe, registers and other stores

Overall, having a system in place to manage and plan your change, and the start banks in your registers is essential to manage staff pressure and customer experience.


Cash Pickups and Further inefficiencies

As mentioned, cash is plentiful during the holiday season. That means the tills will more readily reach their pre-determined “maximum” of cash to have in the drawer, meaning cash pickups will become more frequent throughout the day. If these are being carried out manually, staff will be required to pause whatever activity they were doing and spend 5-10 minutes opening the cash drawer, counting out the cash pickup/skim, and completing the associated record keeping, and securing the funds into the store safe. This can pose a variety of issues:

  • The cash drawer can be open for an extended period, with more than a 3:1 ratio of customers to employees in the store, increasing vulnerability for theft
  • The manager is being pulled away from their duties in managing and supporting the sales floor and team
  • The register is out of commission for up to 5 minutes during the count – causing delays for customers and potentially lost sales opportunities


A cash-management process in place for creating automated receipts and records, and one that can count cash quickly and reliably, can ensure this process is carried out to completion in less than a minute. The time saved through such a solution could be critical in a retail establishment during the holiday season and could make the difference between a $100 and $1000 sale.


Staff Training

The final inefficiency your employees could be faced with is staff training. Holiday hires can make up more than 50% of the staff during busy periods. Cash register training is one of the essential elements of store training but also can be one of the most challenging tasks to train staff on. Having a consistent and straightforward solution for cash handling can significantly reduce the time spent on training and decrease count errors dramatically. One of the last things a new employee needs to worry about is cash management: either making change correctly, counting out a pile of cash handed to them or if newly employed as a manager, the responsibility of opening/closing the till. A new employee could take up to 5 minutes on one transaction, and a nightly bank and deposit could take 30 minutes or more, even for seasoned staff.

A cash management process that automates bank deposits and quickly and accurately counts cash could be the difference needed to increase revenue and reduce staff overtime.

Store footfall and experience, revenue and customer satisfaction should be front-of-mind during the holiday season. Inefficient cash management? Not so much.

A well-built cash handling process and an efficient counting solution won’t only provide quicker cash counts, easier and consistent staff training, but it will also save your business time and money. If you would like to find out how a small investment into Cashmaster One cash management technology, could significantly reduce your overheads and free up your staff time to focus on more customer-centric tasks, get in touch with our team today.