Go Big or Go Home

When Retailers Think Big
by : 

Megy Karydes

December 14, 2015
Marketing Mondays - Go Big or Go Home

I’m a big proponent of offering something very large (physically) or very expensive in your gift and home shop at all times, but especially during the holiday season. Why? Because there are always customers looking for something very special, unique, and one-of-a-kind, even in shops that are focused on one-of-a-kind gifts.

At this late stage in the holiday season, though, how do you offer something big if you don’t already have it in stock?

Go high end.

Ask your reps if they have anything really beautiful and/or high-end that they feel would be a great fit for your store. Or, perhaps you’ve been toying around with the idea of bringing in a higher-end line. Rather than bring in the whole line, ask the manufacturer or designer if they’d be willing to offer you one piece (or a well-curated collection) and commit a highly visible area to display it.

Go for something special.

Ask local designers if they have a special piece that is really different than their current collection or experimental that they’d be willing to offer on consignment. Taking an item on consignment isn’t as easy as a handshake agreement, so spell out the terms in a letter of agreement. If it’s an item that can be tried on, such as a cuff bracelet, make sure you treat it with kid gloves, because if the piece is at all damaged or looks worn, you’ll be responsible for buying the item—it's unlikely the designer would be able to turn around and sell it to another retailer.

If a local designer is willing to work with you, this might be a great opportunity for both of you to move a really high-end piece and offer something to your customers that you wouldn’t normally.

Put two and two—or four and four!— together.

Combine several items from your shop into a “big package” ... as in really deluxe. Make the gift decision easy for someone who loves your shop and really wants to go all out. If you normally sell candles and other bath and body products, create a box filled with candles (one for each month), luxurious bath gels, a variety of essential oils, an eye mask, slippers, and a journal with a beautiful pen. Depending on the items you combine in your special gift set, the whole package could retail for several hundred dollars or more!

I’m using this just as an example but the idea is that you want to pull together things that you already carry in your shop, is representative of your shop and that you can create into a big package. Should no one buy this package at the end of the holiday season, you can choose to break it up and sell as individual units but the goal is to sell it. Make it a goal to try and sell one a week. Why not?

Give it attention.

Since your goal is to sell the piece(s), it’s in your best interest to really give it the space and attention it deserves. Merchandise it, make a special point-of-sale display for it, talk it up, even to customers who have no plans to buy it. The item becomes a talking point. That customer might not be the right customer but it might be perfect for someone they know. Or maybe their spouse is looking for a great gift for a client or maybe someone is celebrating a major milestone. The point is that you can’t sell it if you don’t have it.

Go big or go home this holiday season. Believe in yourself, your team and your products and make this your best holiday season yet.

Megy Karydes is principal of Karydes Consulting, a boutique marketing and communications firm and freelance writer who often covers retail for various magazines. She likes her calendars, whether digital or on paper, and has her editorial calendar pinned to her board in her office to remind her what day it is! Find her on Twitter at @megy.