Provide carriage rides with Santa.
Hire a horse and carriage for the day or a weekend, rent a Santa
suit and provide rides in the store parking lot or around the block.
Offer photos with Santa. Have guests take numbers, so they can
linger in the warmth and wonder of your shop while awaiting their
Offer a “build your own gift basket”
workshop. Charge a flat fee for basic supplies (basket,
fill, wrap, ribbon) and allow participants to choose gift items at
special prices. Provide samples of your gourmet foods as
Set up a children’s shopping corner.
Create a partitioned area of the store with a child-sized entry
where kids can shop privately for gifts for mom and dad. Costumed
employees can serve as elves to assist little ones in making
selections. Provide free gift wrapping, so the treasures remain
Host a Friday night entertainment series.
Help customers combine the desire for a Friday night out with the
need to get some Christmas shopping done by providing in-store
entertainment. Every Friday between Thanksgiving and Christmas,
extend store hours to perhaps as late as midnight and feature
musicians, dancers, comedians or even a magician. Be sure to offer
light refreshments and special product discounts.
Organize a “men’s night.”
Provide a special shopping opportunity for “last-minute” husbands.
Extend store hours on an evening in late December when a football
game is televised. Bring in a TV, cook up some chili and provide
plenty of gift-giving advice Free gift-wrapping is a must for this
Promote a poinsettia exchange.
Give customers a reason to abandon last year’s faded and overgrown
poinsettias by offering a discount on new ones when the old ones are
brought in. Pitch the plants, save the pots and use the pots to
force some Narcissus or Amaryllis bulbs.
Sponsor a food drive. Offer
customers a discount on purchases for each canned or packaged food
item they bring into your store, and enter their names in a drawing
for a “Year of Flowers”—a free bouquet each month during 2011.
Go caroling. Organize an evening
or two when shop staff can get together and sing carols throughout
the community. Have everyone wear shop apparel or holiday garb, wrap
up in some garland or ribbon, grab a sprig of mistletoe and head out
to key locations where you can pass out flowers and fliers promoting
any of the above shop events.