The Sweetest Day is celebrated this year on October 17. It’s a holiday that was started in the early 1920’s by a group of Cleveland confectioners who gave out boxes of candy to homeless people and orphans. According to Mount Vernon News, the holiday isn’t widely known outside of the Midwest region, but candy manufacturers and greeting card companies are attempting to spread it across the country. In 2006, there were over 300 Sweetest Day cards available on the market.
Social media sites like Pinterest, Tumblr and Twitter are likely to play a bigger role in the spread of the holiday. A quick search on Hashtagtracking.com revealed that #SweetestDay had already reached about half a million people before the first full week of October.
How can your store get ready for the Sweetest Day? Read on for some sweet tips and ideas.
7 Popular Sweetest Day Gifts
Traditionally, the Sweetest Day has been all about candy, but there are so many other ways to think about celebrating with friends and family. Here’s a look at some great gift ideas for the holiday:
1. Perfume. Celebrate the day by giving a sweet treat that delights other senses. Elle magazine reported that citrus-scented perfumes are becoming ever more popular. Anything with notes of orange, melon or berries would be a perfect Sweetest Day gift for friends or family. To make the most of this trend in your store, try using one of Firefly’s scent cubes and summer oils – it may be autumn outdoors, but you can create a sweet-smelling oasis in your boutique.
2. Underwear. October isn’t just home to the Sweetest Day, it’s also Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Women’s Wear Daily reported that English fashion designer Stella McCartney has produced a line of pink lingerie of which a percentage of each sale will go to charity. Take some inspiration from McCartney and consider using the Sweetest Day to help promote breast cancer awareness. Previously on the Firefly blog, we’ve discussed how you can do cross-promotion with other local businesses. This month, try doing something to raise money for cancer foundations and charities.
3. Flowers. The warmer seasons may be behind us, but there are still plenty of seasonal flowers to exchange this holiday. Proflowers recommended giving cider roses, yellow roses, sunflowers and orange lilies. If you’re having a sale for the Sweetest Day, consider giving out flowers with every purchase. It might entice customers inside and set your store apart from the competition. Small, inexpensive cards also go a long way – they let customers customize their gifts quickly and simply.
4. Ice cream dishes. It doesn’t get much sweeter than ice cream. Giving someone a gift of the cold treat is sure to leave a good impression, but it tends to disappear quickly. For a gift that lasts, special ice cream dishes work very well. If you don’t want to convert your entire store for this holiday, it could be fun to simply dedicate one or two shelves to some sweetly themed items. For added sales, you could sell non-refrigerated ice cream toppings alongside the dish sets.
5. Chocolates. Even if you don’t normally sell candy, it’s a good idea to have some high-quality chocolate available near the cash register, as it makes for a good impulse buy. That way, gift-givers can always add something sweet to their other presents. Firefly’s new bulldog forms could be a fun way to display candy. You could even reuse your jewelry trays to exhibit individually wrapped chocolate pieces.
6. Jewelry. Candy-colored diamonds are a big hit around the holidays. According to Jezebel, red and blue diamonds are very rare and expensive, but brown diamonds are fairly common – plus they’ve grown in popularity recently. Some brown diamonds’ coloration resembles chocolate, making them an excellent Sweetest Day gift. Firefly’s jewelry pouches would make excellent “candy bags” for those customers that want to surprise their loved one with an extra special treat.
7. Shoes. You can use the Sweetest Day as a launching point for a new fall line. JCKonline recently said that diamond accents on shoes and other accessories are making waves in the New York fashion scene. What trends are you looking forward to this season, and how can you use this holiday to kickstart your sales?
A few more tips
Now that you’re up to speed about the holiday and what kinds of gifts people are expecting to buy for it, let’s take a look at a few more tips for setting up your store.
Reuse previous displays
Save some money by repurposing your other holiday displays. Remember when we talked about hanging paper displays on the blog? Many of those designs would work very well in a Sweetest Day themed sale. Colored mannequins and racks that you used for other holiday sales would work equally well here. Take a note from some design majors at the University of Philadelphia who created a modular shelf-and-rack unit that can be used for all sorts of displays. What displays do you have in your store right now that can be turned into a Sweetest Day display?
“Limited offers create a sense of urgency and help speed up buying decisions.”
Spread the word
As we mentioned above, not everyone is familiar with this holiday, so you should spread the word about your promotions via social media. Keep your regular customers up-to-date about your sales events and get them excited about the holiday. If you’re giving anything away for free – like flowers with purchases or candy to the first hundred people in your store – be sure to mention it online.
Limited offers create a sense of urgency and make people want to get to your store as quickly as possible. According to Entrepreneur magazine, coupons, samples and special events all get customers to take action before a certain “limited period” expires. On the 17th, you could give out free mini-makeovers or set up some cross promotion with a store that complements your own for a full, discounted makeover experience. No matter what you do, make the shopping experience fun and festive and your customers are sure to have a good time.