This is the busiest and most important selling time of the year. The Golden Quarter is when most retailers move from being unprofitable – “in the red” – to profitable – “in the black”. That’s why you have to be prepared to make holiday sales happen. Just in case you still have some openings in your holiday calendar, here are some ideas to spark your imagination:
1. Create a “Top 10 List of Not to be Missed
Holiday Gifts”. Make
sure every associate memorizes it, and have plenty of copies available on the
sales floor and at the cash wrap. Feature your list on Facebook, your website,
e-mail blasts and in your newsletter. Mention it on store signing and on bag
stuffers. When you make shopping decisions easy for your customers, they’ll thank you in dollars and cents.
HINT: Never pre-stuff your bag stuffers into bags! If you do that, they'll only get tossed out with the bag. Instead, hand your bag stuffer to the customer while you explain what it is advertising.)
2. Holiday Ideas Open House. Hold your event from 6:00 – 9:00 PM. Offer in-store specials or invite guests to pop a balloon to determine discounts. Feature complete-in-an-evening projects, demos and makit & takits. And food. You know our motto: Food is Good! The more customers’ eat, the longer they’ll stay.
A Girls Night Out is always fun because sometimes a girl just needs a night off! Create an evening of fun and relaxation. Serve refreshments (like mocktails) and entertainment, plus mini-classes and demonstrations held right on the sales floor. Add contests and door prizes. Partner with a hair and nail salon to offer makeovers, manicures and pedicures. Your store will be the talk of the town!
Coloring Contest. Put together your prize list and contact schools
and day care centers to spread the word. Have a local artist create a free-hand
drawing you can reproduce for the kids to color or look in-line for copy right
free coloring pages. Group entries by age, assign each one a number, and post them
throughout your store. Invite customers to vote for their favorites – by number
– in each category, resulting in first through third place winners,
but every entry gets an Honorable Mention ribbon.
4. Santa Paws Day. It’s an absolute fact that women spend more time choosing a gift for their pet than they do for their spouse or significant other. Enter Santa Paws, the event for anything with fins, fur or feathers. Fido gets to sit on Santa’s lap for five bucks, a dollar of which goes to a local animal shelter. Shoot the photos with a digital camera: customers can choose to come back to pick up an actual photo or you can e-mail a .JPEG (if you need to build your e-mail list, push the .JPEGs.)
5. Pick-a-Candy Cane Sale. Buy a bunch of candy canes and dump them in a basket or line them up like toy soldiers in a piece of decorated foam. Write discount percentages in indelible marker on small stickers and stick one on the bottom of each candy cane. Follow these guidelines for each 100 candy canes:
15 discounts at 15% off (one regularly priced item); 50 discounts at 20% off; 18 discounts at 25% off; 10 discounts at 30% off; 5 discounts at 40% off; 2 discounts at 50% off
Of course, the discounted amount and number of discounts given at each percentage is solely at your discretion. We’ve learned from experience that it’s important to announce a minimum discount of 10%, but not actually award any, so that every customer wins at least 15% off. If your sale has too many small discounts, word will spread that there aren’t many big winners, and customers will stay away.
If you’re hungry for more ideas check out “Jingle Bells… Christmas Sells: Events, Promotions and Tips for the HolidaySeason”, our e-book with Australia’s Debra Templar. It’s chockfull of turn-key, fully customizable events and templates. And you can always give us a call. We’ll help you brainstorm ideas to help kick your holiday sales into overdrive!
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