6 Retail Tips to Help You Thrive on Memorial Day, Father’s Day & July 4th

Memorial Day, Father’s Day, and 4th of July are just around the corner, and while they may not be as huge as Black Friday or the Christmas season, they can still give retailers tons of opportunities to engage with shoppers and increase sales. For this post, we’ll explore some of the tactics you can implement in your store to help you thrive during the upcoming “mini holiday season”:

Use the holiday to re-engage existing customers

While you should engage with shoppers all year round, National holidays and long weekends give you a special reason to connect with your customers, particularly if they bought from you around the same time last year. If you ran any special sales or contests for these holidays in the past, make a list of customers who participated and get in touch so you can let them know what you have in store this year.

Gearing up for Father’s Day? Touch base with customers who made Mother’s Day-related purchases and tell them about what you have going on for dad. You can say something like “We’re happy we were able to help you find the perfect Mother’s Day gift. Now let us help you find a gift for dad.”

Take on additional help if necessary

You’re bound to be busier than usual during these days, so staff your store accordingly. Consider hiring additional help to tidy up your store. Doing so will free up your more experienced associates so they can better assist customers.

Also note that “additional help” doesn’t just pertain to people, but to equipment as well. If you’re anticipating more people and longer lines for example, you may want to have additional registers ready. If you’re using a mobile point-of-sale system, hand over your iPad POS to your staff while on the sales floor  so they can ring up shoppers on the spot.

Incorporate each holiday’s theme into your promos and products

Each holiday comes with its own special themes and colors, so it’s best to incorporate them into your store’s décor, promotions, products, etc. For example, barbecue is a common theme during both Memorial Day and July 4th, so if you’re selling any relevant merchandise, make sure they’re in the forefront.

And the colors red, white, and blue are bound to be a hit during Fourth of July and you’ll likely draw more people into your store by including these colors into your decorations and marketing collateral.

Check out what Original Penguin did (picture above). For Independence Day 2013, the retailer included elements of the American flag in its poster to promote its 4th of July offers.

…But don’t forget the real messages behind these holidays

Celebrating the fun aspects of these holidays is great, but don’t forget that some of these events have more serious themes behind them. Take Memorial Day. As you know, the holiday commemorates those who have died in active military service, so you may want to have a special dedication for military veterans on this day.

Case in point: Piano Liquidators. In 2012, the store honored veterans by donating 10% of their proceeds from May 21st to 28th to the Utah Disabled American Veterans.

Cover all your digital bases

Having a sale? Make sure your customers know about it. Aside from the usual signage in your store, spread the word using digital channels as well.

Post updates on Facebook, Twitter, and all the other social networks you belong to. You may also want to change your cover photos in honor of the holidays to make sure your fans don’t miss it.

Got an e-newsletter? Announce it via email as well. Put the holiday in the subject line so your subscribers immediately know what the message is all about. Now is not the time to be cryptic or clever.

Also make sure your promos are listed on social/mobile services such as Foursquare, Yelp, Red Laser, Yowzaa!!, etc. With 59% of consumers using their mobile devices to find coupons or deals, getting listed in these services is a must.

Track and improve

Take note of the results and lessons you gained during these smaller holidays. What went well? What didn’t?  Pay attention, so you can apply them during the major shopping events such as back-to-school, Black Friday, and Christmas.


Francesca Nicasio is a retail blogger from Vend, a point-of-sale, inventory, and customer loyalty software that helps over 10,000 retailers manage and grow their business. Connect with Vend on Google+ and LinkedIn.


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