Across the country, Old Man Winter has been working extra hard to make his presence known to all. For some small business owners, winter is the best time of year, but for many retailers, sales tend to fall with the snow.
With that said, here are five ideas to help keep the cold weather out and the customers coming in.
1) Salt the sidewalk, roll out the welcome mat – Give customers a break from maneuvering around black ice and snow-covered sidewalks that many retailers expect to be taken care of by city employees. Placing a mat at the entrance for customers to dry their wet boots on will also help you keep the pools of dark melted snow on the floors to a minimum.
2) Bust out the coat rack – Keeping the dial on the thermostat up is great for winter retail business, but it can also push customers that are sweating under multiple layers out the door before the sale is locked in. Bring in a coat rack from home, or clear a space where customers can safely store their overcoats as they shop.
3) Place winter products in the front – Make sure that any popular winter items that your retail business has in stock, such as snow shovels, gloves, or scarves, are in plain view of potential customers walking by. Often, people underestimate the power of Mother Nature’s bitter temperatures, and they find themselves dreaming of owning a pair of fuzzy earmuffs.
4) Throw a snow-out blowout sale – When it snows, schoolchildren are not the only ones that get to have the day off. Turn the ordinary snow day into a shopping holiday for workers with a day off from the job by marking down prices and offering special discounts. When life gives you snow, make snow cones?
5) Lure the customer in with hot cocoa – Is there anything more satisfying to the human soul than a free, cup of hot chocolate goodness on a cold winter’s day? Make that break room coffeemaker work for its keep. You may end up falling for your own trap on this one, but at least you’ll be in good company, company that will end up browsing around your business.