‘Tis Still the Season
Celebrating holidays can be an effective way of bringing more traffic into a store and increasing the profit of the average sale.
Although many retailers consider Christmas and Easter the only holidays worthy of special attention, there are others a store should not neglect. These holidays give retailers an excuse to decorate, highlight new or slow moving products, and put goods on sale.
Promoting holidays takes a little bit of planning and work. First, write down upcoming holidays on a planning calendar. My favorite retail holidays include Easter, July 4th, Labor Day, Thanksgiving, Father’s Day and Mother’s Day. After selecting the holidays and community events that the store will participate in, think about how to bring the holiday into the store. Some suggestions include decorating the windows, creating a large display in the front of the store, having employees wear special uniforms and playing appropriate holiday music. Decide what items the store wants to promote and think of creative ways to incorporate them into a holiday theme. Be sure to call manufacturers to see if they have holiday-specific items.
For Easter, one retail establishment in South Florida decorates the window with bunny and chick drawings. A display featuring a large bunny stands up front by the register and contains all types of treats for dogs, cats, small animals and even birds. The checkout section has a basket filled with jellybeans for the customers. There were also flyers promoting Easter basket specials, which included treat baskets, toy baskets and grooming baskets, all placed throughout the store with a small sign that had the retail value slashed to an Easter special cost.
Good holiday marketing tactics will attract new customers to the store. Make sure to hand out flyers–on the street, at parks and in customers’ shopping bags. Try visiting non-competing pet-related businesses and putting out samples with the store’s business card. Think about extending the store’s hours during the holiday promotion so customers who may not have been able to visit before, due to a work schedule, can take advantage of the sale.
A store can also host photo shoots–a picture with Santa during Christmas and the Easter Bunny during Easter.
There is a tremendous opportunity to use holidays to bring new customers in and to increase sales. Most customers smile when they see creative holiday decorations, and the change in routine is sure to peak some interest. Besides, do you really need that much convincing to celebrate?
Jane R. Bicks, DVM, is new product development director for Trilogy International’s Healthy PetNet division and a veterinarian with over 20 years in the pet industry.