by Teresa P. Lanker

  1. 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 turns.

  2. 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 refreshments.

  3. 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 completely secret.

  4. 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.

  5. 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 event.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

Florists' Review Enterprises, Inc..
PO Box 4368
Topeka, KS   66604

Phone: 800-367-4708
Local: 785-266-0888
Fax: 785-266-0333

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