How We Had Our Best Fourth Quarter to Date
2012 was our best year ever. We also had our best December and our best fourth quarter to date. We had the benefit of a new, expanded showroom, which featured a laid-back vibe with living room furniture and bar counters.
Here's how we took advantage of it during the holiday selling season.
Take out a "thank you" ad. With our new shop being considered more of an upscale store, I was hesitant to advertise a big blow-out sale. It doesn't fit our model. We did print advertising in the Illinois Entertainer—a free local entertainment magazine—and used the space to run a big "thank you" ad for the last two months of the year. We weren't trying to be cocky. We were trying to be different. And I believe a "thank you" ad can draw customers into the store, too.
Stock the unique. Our main focus was to have plenty of custom and limited-edition guitars in stock. Unique and one-of-a-kind guitars have always sold well during the holiday shopping season. Unique accessories also sell well. Some customers might consider these as an impulse purchase. Unique guitar picks, guitar care products and effects pedals, to name a few, all serve as attention-grabbers. These are very cool and slightly different products.
Merchandise the vibe. Finally, I also made an effort to rearrange the store a little—make it look slightly different from the rest of the year. We brought in some very classy Christmas decorations and made the store feel like a cozy living room. We offered soft drinks and wine, when appropriate, to our customers. We made an effort to sell our vibe as much as our guitars. If we do well selling the vibe, customers will continue to shop here all year round.