Keep Holiday Sales Momentum
Right now, most of us are thinking just of getting through the holiday period---and rightfully so! It’s enough to make sure that customized baskets, holiday platters, and party-ready customers are well cared for and leave with their purchases rung up correctly. And though adrenaline is high and the calmness of January 2nd dangles like a carrot in the forbidden recesses of our mind, there is a question to be ponder: After the wave of holiday sales passes by, how do we keep sales going strong?
Managers grapple with this question on an ongoing basis, at all times of year. But there’s no doubt that the calm after the holiday barrage is always a perplexing time for cheese sales. So much so, that some shops close down for a short winter’s nap. (Unless, of course, your shop is in a skiing town. In that case, your lull time is in a few months—so store this article away until then.)
Though every shop has its own special circumstances and location, here are some less onerous suggestions for facing the post-holiday, wintertime lull:
Be nice to your customers and yourself, and simplify
There’s a natural tendency to want to curl up and nest during winter. Make “grab & go” bags that feature cheeses for chilly nights in deep winter. Think a robust blue; a soothing, toothsome Swiss; an oozy, comforting Robiola; a chunk of clothbound Cheddar; an earthy, savory Ossau Iraty…and if you can add in a bottle of wine or some seasonal winter brews, even better!
Create fun cheese kits
For example, a fondue kit complete with recipe, cheese and, if you have it, the fondue pot itself. The same can be done for a Raclette “kit,” depending on what your shop sells.
Run a recipe contest
Which one of your customers can come up with the best winter food dish with cheese? Make the prize a coupon for the shop so they can come and buy that cheese—and after the contest offer printouts of the winning recipe and discount the highlighted cheese to get others making it, too. This is the time to use your carefully gathered customer email list, too or test the waters with it. Make sure you have your judges set before starting, because the idea is to have incentive!
Schedule some demos
Talk to your distributor(s) and/or some of the producers of local items (chutneys, honey, crackers) that you sell about scheduling in-store demos. This is a slow time for everyone, so team up and work together. Remember, though, to leave the farmstead cheesemakers alone so they can tend to their newborn animals.
Think of culture!
What can we do for and with you? We’re happy to creatively brainstorm and team up to drive sales. Let’s talk!