The Morning Post:- 5th April
“Hope Springs Eternal with the Beauty of a Retail Calendar“
Helping a retail client to exit the Easter promotions and move into a mid-season sale the staff, and even the store itself, naturally succumb to some mild form of “Post Event Syndrome.” For sure April brings showers, certainly in the UK, but it also closes an intense period of retail activities driven by a condensed seasonal event calendar.
From the gloom of February we brighten our days with Valentines pinks & reds and then onto early Spring, through Mother’s Day, St Patrick’s day and finally to Easter, not forgetting mid-seasonal and Spring promotions.
These events are important to practically every retailer because they drive gifting and impulse and generosity purchases in an evolved retail market where people really don’t need many more practical things.
In our saturated, competitive markets show me a retailer that can now afford to let these events pass by without using them to generate sales.
I always remember Louis Vuitton filling its windows with St Valentine’s jokes and the beautiful Cartier campaigns selling luxury with romantic literary and film collaborations, exclusive hearts and charity limited editions to tempt the credit card Casanovas. You are never too important to embrace eventing.
A dynamic retail calendar is the lifeblood of footfall, conversion & sales. We literally cannot afford to let these opportunities pass us by.
So what happens in April and beyond where calendar events are few and far between and the promising shoots of early Spring now seem to have the obscured the view ahead.
How do we convert post event syndrome into a series of organised and eagerly anticipated changes?
Well, in the absence of calendar events, the great merchants of the retailing world get down to creating destination drama from within themselves and their products with imagination & inspiration.
And you would have to walk a long way to find a better proponent of this than Selfridges who continually use every event and every season to re-invent their proposition and their connection to the customer. Over the years we have had explorations of the human body, the carnival from Rio, Las Vegas razzamatazz and Japanese Spring blossom to capture the worlds imagination and to keep the tills ringing.
The key is the glue of Selfridges distinct personality that binds everything together casting brand harmony across its often diverse creativity. It has turned the wastelands of April & May into hugely enjoyable and commercially successful highlights of the year.
Of course, we are not all Selfridges, but as retailers we are all somebody…if not then we have to right to be on the high street or the web…and certainly no hope of being in the hearts of our customers.
The fact is I have never met a brand or a retailer that doesn’t have a million things to say to its customers about itself and what it sells. However sadly many retailers have never found their voice, restricting their communication to generic platitudes instead of engaging in personal and meaningful conversations.
For every day and week that goes by there is something to say about our brand, our history, our values, our people, our activities, collaborations and future ambitions, and a million further things to communicate about our assortment.
So really don’t be a passive bystander watching the world and its traffic pass you by but get out there, be noticed and grab your slice of the retail action.
Find yourself, and then let others find you too with a carefully constructed retail calendar.
Are you a little lost in how to bring your stories to life, and develop your calendar?
We can help.
Sleep on it and drop me a line in the morning…
The Evening Post is my daily take on the day in retail…offering always a positive spin to take to your next shift at the retail coalface.
Thank you for continuing to read & good luck for tomorrow! Tim Radley
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