DIY Holidays to Celebrate for Retailers

Customer completing purchase on digital tablet
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Every retailer celebrates holidays in their store because every customer does. But we tend to focus on the "big" holidays (Easter, Thanksgiving, etc) and forget that we can celebrate so much more. We tend to follow the crowd versus making a name for ourselves. Let's face it, everyone knows you have a sale or event at Christmas every year. But when you celebrate at other times of the year that is when you start becoming a brand. Plus you get the employees excited as well. 

People love to party; we love to celebrate. We all know that a happy, smiling customer buys more.   Many retailers today focus on events that are about sales. While this is a good tactic, what you are known for is discounting. In other words, if the only events you do in your store are sales then you are telling the world that you are a discounter. When we say events, we mean events, not sales. For most of you reading this, you might interpret the event as sale and while a sales price may truly be a part of an event, it is not THE event. 

As a retailer, you use marketing to drive people into your stores and you do not want that marketing to always be about price. Instead, have an event in your store that is about celebrating a holiday versus celebrating giving away your margin in a clearance sale. But, I do that, you say. I put up decorations every year for the Holiday and during Halloween, I put out pumpkins in the store and give out candy corn. Okay, that is very nice but it is not an "event" and it certainly is not a celebration. 

Every retail industry has its own holidays you can celebrate. I never knew National Assistants Day existed until my local gift store did an event around it. They sent out an email, had special things in the store (not for me, but for my assistant) and made the whole day a big party. Great job. 

Here are some tips to help you get started. 

1. Focus on celebrating more than having an event. 

What we mean by this is when planning, think of ways that people will celebrate or be celebrated in your store. Go beyond the free hot dogs or balloons into areas that make people fell like it is a party. Bring those awesome party hosting skills from home to the store. 

2. Utilize cross promotions

Getting the retailers around you to join in will take your event to a whole new level. For example, if you are a shoe store, you could offer a free cake ball from the bakery across the street  with the purchase of every pair of shoes during your "high heels" event. The bakery provides the cake balls for free in order to drive people into their store and you get a neat, sweet incentive to drive people into yours. 

3. Make up your own holiday.

No reason to simply celebrate the same big ones everyone else is; stand out and be different. For example, Rick wanted to celebrate his parents (who owned the store before he did) after they passed. He created a holiday event on the last Saturday of March each year and called it National Mom and Pop Small Business Owners Day. After a few years, many others had joined in and today, it is celebrated in cities all across the country. All Rick did was create his own holiday to celebrate his parents. But he made it a party and people took notice. 

4. Be know for celebrating. 

If there is one thing that makes your store and brand "sticky" it's the culture of celebration you cultivate. You want to be known as the people who like to party around town. (Keeping in mind that party does not mean you have to have alcohol since most parties actually do not anyway.) Celebrate wacky holidays. If you need some ideas, check out Chase's Calendar of Events. You can buy it online or check out a copy at your local library. Either way, this resource is packed with tons of unique holidays and celebrations you can partake in in your store.