Simple Ways to Kill Time on Slow Days

There are slow days and then there are S.L.O.W.D.A.Y.S.

We get it.

So what can you do to help motivate yourself and your team to keep the energy of your store alive, upbeat and in the selling spirit? Here are ten tips to get you through slow days… with a focus on helping you thrive on busy days!

1. Dust. Yes, dust. It seems so simple and yet so boring and yet so necessary. Customers notice the little things and dust certainly falls into this category.

2. Create a customer loyalty action plan. Too few of retailers actually have a loyalty program put in place, even if it’s as simple as monitoring who is buying what and when they are buying it.

3. Shop your competitors. Online, that is. Since you’re likely in your store, we understand you can’t physically be in your competitions stores. That said, you can dissect what they are up to online. Check out their website and social media pages. Constructively identify what they are doing well and what you think you can do to better compete with them. Have the chance to physically get in their stores? Definitely do that, as well.

4. Clean Out Your Drawers, Closets, Storage Rooms, Etc. Every store – just like every home – has that “area”. You know the one… the one that you constantly shove things into despite the fact that you know it’s not helping you accomplish anything even while doing it. Where ever your stash is of unopened mail, broken inventory, half finished employee reviews and receipts you forget to write off, finally take the time to clean this area up. It’s amazing how great you feel once this is done.

5. Play on Pinterest. And by play, we mean get inspired! There are so many amazing window displays, in-store merchandising ideas and countless other retail inspired details that Pinterest users world wide are sharing for this reason alone… for others to see. The catch? Don’t get lost in your time on Pinterest. Give yourself 30 minutes to unveil whatever it is you are looking for… from an inspiring display to a savvy cash wrap area, we’re sure  you will find something.

6. Create Employee Reviews. Of course, this takes more time than just one slow day and necessary time to actually “review” your employees is needed, as well, but action steps to identify, review and evaluate your employees are important for your business growth, your store’s success and of course, your employees, as well. Not sure where to get started? Review select templates here. 

7. Write a Press Release. Then send it to your local media! Easier said than done, but the idea is to generate store visibility and introduce new customers to your store. Whether you want to discuss new inventory you have received that may have added attention to it – such as it’s fair trade or handmade – or share news of an upcoming event, there is… or at least should be… always something to say and share. Need press release tips? Click here!

8. Call Long Forgotten Customers. Sometimes the best way to gain repeat customers is to let them know you miss them. Reach out to customers you haven’t seen in awhile, telling them of upcomoing events or in-store promotions. Make your call friendly, but short and sweet. Not all customers will love a phone call (it’s reality), but for those that do it will be well worth it.

9. Enhance Your Email Communication. Online marketing goes well beyond social media. Email marketing is a big factor when it comes to customer attention, retention and overall store awareness. Evaluate your current email marketing strategies and consider what you can do better.

10. Get Up & Move, Move, Move! Too often retailers stay tucked behind their computers and never take the time to walk their stores from a customer’s perspective. Spend time in your store as if you were a customer, interacting and moving around. What do you notice that you love? That you don’t like? That’s dirty? That needs some TLC? While there is plenty of busy work to keep you behind a computer, make sure you don’t spend all your time here. It’s important to move around your store and know what  it really feels like for customers to shop it.



  • Francesca Nicasio
    April 14, 2014

    Really helpful action steps, Nicole. I personally get my best ideas during my “downtime” moments and I’ve made it a point to make the most out of slow days by devoting them to research. That’s why I love what you said about using Pinterest and looking at competitors. I think they’re great ways to get inspired and gain new ideas/perceptions.

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