Expert Advice

Q&A: Holiday Retail Blitz

July 10, 2011 | 11:18 PM
What's the best way to boost retail numbers in the upcoming holiday season?

Sandra "Sam" Johnston

"We always hold an open house for clients on the first Friday in December," says Sandra "Sam" Johnston, owner of ABQ Hair Studio in Albuquerque, New Mexico. "At this event we offer cheese and fruit plates, punch and wine and have giveaways for our attending clients.

"All retail bags are stuffed with bounce-back coupons good December 26 through January 31 of the next year so we get some momentum going into the new year. This event lasts for two hours and we get a lot of positive feedback from our clients who always look forward to it. All of our holiday gift sets are showcased and we offer $10 bounce-back coupons good toward any spa service for added enticement when a gift set is purchased. It gets the clients in the mood for shopping and they often come back throughout the month to buy more gifts."

Q&A: Holiday Retail BlitzMarielle Shuster

"Retail is a crucial part of maintaining a sustainable and successful business," says Marielle Shuster, owner of Coiffeteria Salon in East Grand Rapids, Michigan. "At Coiffeteria, our goal is to increase our retail sales this holiday season by 15 percent. We plan to do this by focusing on what I refer to as the ABCs of retailing.

"Always have your shelves fully stocked. Maintaining inventory levels ensures we will not miss an opportunity to meet our guest's needs. We increase our inventory from a 14-day supply to a 21-day supply to guarantee product availability.

"Be proactive. I begin by conducting a team meeting to share our salon's goal. Through this, I gain commitment, which allows my team to take ownership in our success. A best practice is to send a mailing to our top 100 retail guests inviting them to shop with us this holiday season.

"On Customer Appreciation Day in December, we show our guests how much we care about them. We offer a day of stress-free shopping just for them, which includes Aveda rituals designed to relax and rejuvenate. In appreciation, our guests receive incentives for purchasing their retail and pre-booking future services.

"Through implementing our ABCs we were able to increase our holiday retail sales by 13 percent in 2009, and are looking forward to an even better 2010!"

Q&A: Holiday Retail BlitzAnthony Rossano

"I would first begin with my visual displays-I would design gift packages that would not only include a gift card, but products as well," says Anthony Rossano, owner of Bernard's Salon and Spas in Cherry Hill and Marlton, New Jersey. Every client that purchases a particular gift package or gift card amount valued at $100 or more would receive a styling product consultation. The consultation would include a few minutes with a retail specialist and they would recommend a free product. I would begin this particular marketing technique in September in hopes that the product will become a favorite that may be recommended and purchased as a gift set during the holidays.

"My second approach would begin with my staff. I would offer a holiday incentive that would divide my front desk staff and service operators and run contest November 1 through December 31. The employee who sells the highest dollars in both departments will receive a two-night stay and dinner at a five-star hotel in Atlantic City. "A new and exciting approach for this year is ‘Bernard's Pop Up Booth.' We will be placing these in high-traffic areas such as malls to educate clients on their product purchase with a complimentary service.

"My final approach would be to choose a particular product line beginning in October and each month offer a 20-percent discount on that line or even a "buy one, get one free" on the line. By taking a further step of mailing out a monthly circular that displays the product and its benefits, you drive in the clientele who do not have appointments that month/week.

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