When you think about merchandising in the summer, a few predictable themes probably come to mind. Most stores opt for beach, picnic, poolside or camping displays, and while these are all appropriate for the season, customers quickly get bored of seeing the same old promotions.
Want to spruce things up in your store? Why not combine the best of summer and winter for an awesome merchandising theme? That’s right – we’re talking about Christmas in July. There’s no better way to get people excited about your retail store than to mix their favorite season with America’s favorite holiday. Here are a few ways that you can deck out your store for a celebration of Christmas in the summer.
Decorating your store
If you’re really going to sell your Christmas in July theme, you’re going to have to go all out with your decorations. Simply hanging a few lights and ornaments will most likely confuse people, so really commit to setting up full-on Christmas displays.
First thing’s first – you’ll need a Christmas tree. Because it’s one of the most noteworthy symbols of the holiday, your tree should be displayed prominently. If you have a big front window, that’s the perfect spot to set up your foliage. String lots of lights and tinsel on the tree, and decorate the branches with summery ornaments, like clear balls filled with seashells. You may want to set up a snowman beside your tree, but make sure he’s dressed appropriately in sunglasses and a Hawaiian shirt.
Once your main display is done, spread the holiday cheer throughout your store. Display boxes covered with festive gift wrap on your shelves and top your store mannequins with Santa and elf hats. If your employees are good sports, you can also ask them to dress in their fanciest holiday attire.
Pushing last season’s merchandise
Do you have some winter SKUs that are taking up space in your back room? A holiday-themed promotion is the perfect opportunity to push last year’s winter merchandise.
Set up festive displays of your leftover gloves, hats, scarves and other cold-weather gear, and don’t forget to offer appealing prices for your off-season promotion. Chances are that you’ll still be able to make a profit on these items, as customers will think they’re getting a great deal and be more apt to purchase out-of-season SKUs.
“Promote the event to interested customers.”
Getting people in the holiday spirit
If you want to get people excited about your Christmas in July theme, you’ll need to promote it. Your marketing efforts don’t have to be expensive or extensive, but they should reach your most dedicated customers and let them know that you’re having a special holiday promotion.
Use social media to your advantage when advertising your store’s celebration of Christmas in the summer. Create a Facebook post detailing items on sale, any events you have planned and any special promotions. According to HubSpot, social media posts that include photographs generate significantly more viewer engagement, so be sure to include a snapshot of your decked-out displays. It’s also a good idea to “boost” your Facebook post with a couple extra dollars – this will help your post reach the news feeds of interested customers.
Want to generate even more attention for your Christmas in July theme? Hold a social media contest where you encourage people to post pictures of your festive displays. You can offer the photo with the most engagements a prize at the end of the month. It’s an easy and inexpensive way to drum up interest during an otherwise slow month.