Weathering Slow Sells in the Lazy Days of Summer

So, what can home improvement retailers do to boost summer sales when temperatures rise above 90 degrees for weeks at a time? Unless your store is located near the beach, a tourist resort or in a hot climate, you’re probably seeing fewer customers in your store now than you did in the spring. After all, people are away on vacation, holding backyard get-togethers with family and friends, or staying indoors trying to beat the heat. But, there are a number of exciting and inexpensive things you can do to get customers to take a break from their summer routines and visit your store.

Hold an In-store Charitable Event

Every community has charitable organizations that are looking for businesses willing to partner with them for fundraisers. Select the charity of your choice, decide on a theme and a list of activities, then get to work. Be sure to invite your most loyal customers to the event, and people who already donate to the organization. Let them know a portion of the sales will benefit a worthy cause. Food is always a crowd-pleaser, consider serving hot dogs, burgers and popcorn.

Give Loyal Customers Special Discounts

Many retailers have loyalty programs that identify their most profitable customers and the products they most frequently buy. Send these customers a personalized e-mail or postcard offering them a special discount on certain product categories. For example, lawn and garden, paint or plumbing. Using the theme “customer appreciation” will make them feel special and show you value their patronage.

Serve “Morning Joe” to Contractors

Contractors are early-risers who need to get in and out of stores fast to start on the projects they have planned for the day. Stores that build relationships with contractors have an easier time weathering the slow days in summer since these folks need a trusted source for purchasing hardware, plumbing, electrical and building materials. Opening your doors early in the morning and serving hot coffee and donuts is a great way to meet more plumbers, electricians, roofers and carpenters. Prominently display a sign in your window that invites contractors to shop your business during early morning hours.

Create a Sizzling Summer Sale

Everyone likes a chance to win prizes. Create your own sale and let customers enter a drawing to win prizes that are popular in the summer, such as a compact grill, lounge chairs, grilling utensils, BBQ sauces, or ice coolers. The sale should be held during a specific period of time to motivate customers to shop during slow periods. Remember to post the name of the winner on your community board or at a clearly-visible location near the entrance to the store.

There are many creative ways to boost summer sells. It’s important to motivate your staff and encourage them to come up with new ideas. Summer is a great season to figure out the type of events that bring in more customers from the surrounding community. Everything you learn will be helpful when you plan activities for the fall season.

 

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