Did you try to capitalize on the Labor Day Retailing frenzy? Were you out there advertising or doing other types of marketing to try to drive business?
If so, you’re not alone. So many small retailers I’ve worked with are always trying to capitalize on specific time periods when shoppers head out in droves. And that’s the right strategy…but at the same time it’s wrong.
Think about who’s promoting their big sales for holidays like President’s Day, Memorial Day, Fourth of July and Labor Day. It’s Mike’s Mattress Mega-Sale, Larry’s Discount Furniture Den, Macy’s Memorial Day sale and the like. Truth is, the big department and discount stores love these major holidays and they’ve trained consumers to respond to their cheesy brand of marketing during these big weekends. Many of the ads have a used car sales feel to them.
THE REAL WORLD RETAILING TAKEAWAY
I noted more stores closed on Labor Day than I’ve seen in a long time. It’s because people aren’t shopping except at the big stores.
Take a look at your numbers for the weekend. How did you do relative to other weekends? Compare the sales for each of the four days (Friday through Monday) with the same days from one, two and three weeks ago. Then look at the total sales for the four days and compare them again to the previous three weekends. I’m guessing your sales didn’t have a great surge because of the holiday weekend. If anything they were lower due to more people being out of town, or hosting guests if they stayed in town.
Now that you know your sales and how you fared, take a look at any marketing you conducted. Compare that with marketing the previous one, two and three weeks. This will give you an idea if your marketing is driving business or not.
Don’t be afraid to close shop on days when there isn’t any business — we as Americans have become the ultimate consumers with the term holiday meaning nothing anymore as grocery stores, movie theaters and the like are even open on Christmas Day.
Give yourself a break as a small retailer and take a day off if your business isn’t there to support opening the store. And leave the big, non-gift holidays to Mike the mattress king and Larry’s Furniture Den.