Winter can be tough for retail as traffic is often down. Local indie retail businesses have an opportunity to leverage the season, to make it more enjoyable. Here are six suggestions to get you thinking abut winter differently:
- Provide a warm and welcoming Winter experience. Offer hot coffee, tea or hot chocolate. Maybe have a slow cooker with some delicious home cooked vegetable soup. Offer warm cookies or muffins. Play warming / comforting music. Maybe project a movie onto a wall for something fresh and different. Have a place for wet umbrellas. Offer a place people can dry themselves. The goal here is to make your shop the shop locals talk about loving in Winter.
- Host a Winter event. Create your our ‘season’ your own in-store experience where people can relax, have some fun and enjoy the business. Warm cider or mulled wine wold be good for this after-hours event.
- Reach out to retirement villages and nursing homes. Pack up key items from your shop and take them on the road – go to those customers who can’t come to you because of the cold.
- Offer free delivery. If option one does not work for you promote a delivery service so people shut in can still get their fix. Be the retailer who goes the extra mile.
- Have a summer sale. In the middle of winter, at the coldest, have a blow-out sale and call it something like a SIZZLING SALE. Get people warm with great prices.
- Host an art event. A wonderful way to brighten up the shop and those who visit is by displaying art, photos and things made by your shoppers.
If your shop is in a really cold area consider an outer door to keep the warmth in. They do this a lot in Europe and the US in Winter.
These ideas are all about relaxing things, bringing opportunities for joy to the business and evolving the narrative associated with the business. This is what having fun through Winter is about. It’s abut the less obvious, you doing things you can and that a bigger business are less likely to try.