It rained today in LA and it was the first “major” rain since last winter. Of course the weather person got it wrong and had predicted rain the following day, not today. As a result, I got stuck in it. Stuck a couple of blocks away from my car and stuck without my umbrella.
Getting stuck in the rain always reminds me of New York. I think I’ve purchase about five umbrellas in New York, simply because I didn’t bring one from the hotel as I trekked around the city, unaware of impending rain.
It’s uncanny how many stores throughout Manhattan sell umbrellas. You don’t really see them in the store, but when it rains, they’re front and center so they can be gobbled up by tourists and others wanting to stay dry.
THE REAL WORLD RETAILING TAKEAWAY
An umbrella is more than something to keep you dry – it is an incremental sales tool.
Are you carrying merchandise that’s relevant to changing weather? If so, then make sure you have a game plan to pull those products front and center as the weather shifts.
If you’re in the beauty business, it’s about moisturizers and lip balms on cold winter days.
If you’re in the convenience business, it’s everything from water and sunscreens on hot days to umbrellas on rainy days.
Even home stores can get in the game. Candles in the fall are the perfect product to push as people get ready for cold nights and the forthcoming winter. Or cards relevant to a certain holiday.
Kitchen and food stores can push hot cocoa in the fall and winter.
I’m not advocating bringing in products that aren’t relevant to your store’s product mix. That doesn’t make brand sense. But bringing in products that fill a need for your customers makes business sense.
Next time the weather changes on the fly, or just for a general seasonal change, make sure you’re pulling “hot” merchandise front and center to capitalize on the needs of your customers.