Many retailers use the month of January to have a white sale, in which they discount household items that don’t normally sell very well at the beginning of the year. After Christmas, household spending takes a slight decrease in intensity as people need a few weeks to recover from their holiday shopping. By discounting household items like linens, kitchenware and small appliances, retailers can move merchandise that would otherwise sit on the shelves untouched.
The white sale dates back to 1878 and was coined by John Wanamaker. According to PBS, Wanamaker is best known as the man who invented the price tag. He owned one of the very first department stores in America for which he published the first ever copyrighted advertisement. Wanamaker was a true marketing genius, which is evidenced by the fact that his ideas have stuck around for a long time. He was a giant of the retail industry and it’s always a good idea to take a page out of his playbook.
How to have a white sale
In the 138 years since the first white sale, things have changed a little – while the motivating idea behind the sale remains unchanged, its implementation has been honed over the past century. While many retailers still have their white sale in January, it’s no longer restricted to that month. Any time sales are flagging it’s a good idea to at least consider having a white sale. It is also no longer necessary to only discount household items or products that are actually white. This means you can customize your white sale to fit your store’s current needs.
The white theme can still be fun, however, and fits well with the winter season. In fact, you can think of it as a mid-point between Christmas and Valentine’s Day. Rather than take down all of your festive decorations and leave your store bare, consider only removing those decorations that are 100 percent Christmas-related. Everything else – snowflakes, snowmen, etc. – can stay up! It makes transitioning into February much easier. Our hanging paper snowflakes are perfect for augmenting your white sale. If you want to go the extra mile, check out our gloss white male and female mannequins. The crisp white of the form will boldly display any clothing item you place on it.
A white sale is the perfect time to embrace your inner minimalist. If you typically struggle to produce enticing advertisements and fliers for your boutique store, now is your time to shine. Forget elaborate images for the time being. Harness the idea of a fresh, white sheet of paper and make that the centerpiece of your campaign.
Do your print ads typically feature colorful pictures and graphics? That’s a great strategy for the rest of the year, but this campaign requires a little less. Make a statement by only using text in your next ad – not only will you save money at the printers, the regular recipients of your ad will really take note. Trendhunter Marketing reported that minimalist advertising is often used by big brands to stand out in a crowded visual landscape. Keep in mind that your customers exist in a world that is constantly exposing them to stimulation overload. By throwing some white space their way you’ll actually make them pause and read your ad. The only thing to remember here is that the words on the page should be few and impactful. Highlight your best discounts and you’re sure to succeed.
Offering minimalist coupons is another great way to engage customers. Whether they are print or digital, they’re easy to make and serve a few ends. First, they get potential shoppers interested in your store. Second, they get those shoppers actively involved with your advertising. If your coupons are digital, it means customers will have to interact with your website or social media page, which is good for you in the long run. Your minimalist campaign can be the novel thing that brings customers to your page, and the promise of more deals in the future will keep them coming back.
An excuse to start fresh
A white sale can be an excuse for you to start fresh in the new year. After all, resolutions can be business related as well as personal. What are you looking forward to in the next year and how do you plan to achieve those goals? A good place to start is with the cleanliness of your establishment. Even if you clean regularly, dust can still pile up in those hard-to-reach nooks and crannies. Preparing for your white sale is a great time to clean house. Try our Jiffy steamer to take care of your rugs and get them looking fresh again.
“January is the perfect time to make a fresh start.”
It’s also a great time to replace any display pieces that are worn out. Freshening your store with a select few pieces can make a huge difference. Consider replacing your old items with some fresh, white display tables and cases. Additionally, replacing your old clothing hangers with new eco-friendly hangers can show your shoppers that you’re starting the year with the best intentions. Let your January sale be the first of many great promotions in 2016.
A white sale is a time-tested method of picking up sales after the Christmas season. After all, retailers have been doing it for over 100 years! You just need to spruce up your store with a few sparkling white displays and use a minimalist approach to advertising. Make the event feel unique and special to get your regular customers intrigued. It’s the perfect way to start off the new year.