Admit it. You got sucked into the Valentine’s Day thing. You thought “I can capitalize on this holiday by bringing in a bit of red, heart shaped merchandise.”
More often than not, small retailers think they can make a go of specific holidays when they can’t.
Valentine’s Day is a holiday that should be left to card stores, jewelry stores, drug stores and grocery stores. It’s a male holiday, with men running out last minute to pick up some flowers, the oh-so-lame heart-shaped box of chocolates (36 million were sold in 2006 according to the National Retail Federation) or a card. Have you been out at 6pm on Valentine’s Day night? Head to a grocery store and you’ll men scrambling and fighting for the last relevant card on the display – it really is hilarious.
Take a read of a Valentine’s Day survey conducted by the National Retail Federation. It’s from 2006 but it illustrates my point.
THE REAL WORLD RETAILING TAKEAWAY
Valentine’s Day is for a few retailers only. So don’t try to be one of them unless it makes sense.
Having worked in the beauty retailing business, our head of merchandising at the time thought they’d make a go of Valentine’s Day. Wrong move. She assumed that bath bombs, candles and other romantic goodies would entice women to buy the products so they could create that romanctic Valentine’s Day they always dreamed of having.
Truth is, women want that romantic Valentine’s Day created for them, not created by them.
Read the survey. If your concept doesn’t already offer the relevant goods for the holiday, then don’t be tempted by trying to capitalize on it. You’ll only wind up with a bunch of merchandise you’ll have to mark down and take a loss on.