I've read so much lately in trade mags & web sites about how to increase traffic & business in a tough financial time like this. Lots of great ideas out there (and a few lame ones, to be truthful!) But one of the best ones I've heard of is happening because a friend of mine got together with some other independent shop owners, and did some brainstorming... here's how it happened:
The owner of an antique boutique got together with the owner of a day spa, and the owner of a country home decor shop, and the owner of a gift & decor shop, and they started talking about business. What resulted was an idea to sponsor a marketplace sale - one where shops and individual business people and dealers could rent table space in a rented building, haul in their goodies to sell, and the public could come and shop. There will be food and wine tastings, too. And music. The event will take place on a weekend when there are several other community events (pumpkin patches, farm tours, craft shows) going on and there will be thousands of people in town. Choosing this weekend for the sale was a calculated stroke of genius.
Then they went ot the Mayor and had him make a proclamation that October is Pink Pumpkin month in town. Forever. Talk about branding!
A bonus for shoppers is that most of the merchandise is to be discounted, and a bonus for vendors is that it helps shopowners get some old merchandise out of their shops & storage units before the Holidays. AND it drives business to the shops. The icing on the cake is that each vendor's table fee and the entry fees for the shoppers will be donated to the Susan G. Komen Foundation for Breast Cancer Research.
And so, the event is called 'Pink Pumpkins for the Cure', and all of the vendor tables sold in one week. This idea has caught on like wildfire! Every shop who is participating is displaying pink pumpkins in their windows with info about the sale. All of the vendors at the sale will have pink pumpkins in their displays and will wear pink. One great way to tie in a shopportunity to a community event and a charity fundraiser.
Oh, did I mention that this idea was cooked up in one hour just two weeks ago? These gals move FAST! And there's more where that came from. Check out the tagline and logo they came up with to cover all future promotions:
Smart women. They aren't waiting for the town to promote them - they are taking it on themselves and succeeding. Now, what can you do to work with other independent merchants in your community to help pne another succeed????
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