Yes, yes, the economy is down, and we may be headed for recession. Well, use it, baby. To your advantage.
Even in down economies, people have to buy a few things. They may as well buy them at your store. Friends and relatives still have birthdays; working women still need a new blouse every now and then. Snow shovels get bent and need replacing when the flakes are piling up outside.
Soooo, have some fun with it. If everyone is feeling broke, then everyone will appreciate a good laugh. Some ideas:
1. Signs of the Times. Have a Henry Paulson White Sale. If the treasury secretary drops the interest rate (as he did today), then you drop the price of all white items in your store, too.
2. Getting Hammered by the Economy. Divide your merchandise according to price. If you sell hammers, put all of your choices on a display case and mark them thus: Hammers for Customers Who Didn’t Get a Raise this Year; Hammers for Customers Secure in Mid-level Jobs; Hammers for Customers Who Work in the Corner Office.
3. Empathy Sale. Have a weekend sale, and make it known that you are doing this for your customers because you know times are tough.
4. May As Well Enjoy It. Bring in coffee and cookies or wine and cheese for your customers, and tell them it is because you know the economy is bad and you think they deserve some pampering.
5. You Deserve a Gift Today. Look in your stockroom. Surely there is something there that probably will not sell, but which customers would appreciate if they received it for free. Depending on how many you have, either drop one into the bags of paying customers or put out a basket full of the widgets for all your shoppers. If you are dropping the item into bags, tie a little note to each item that says, “Happy Recession from All of Us at Carol’s Shoes.” If you put the items in a basket for all customers, then put a similar sign on the basket.