The Holiday Season: It’s Not Too Late!

 

The (Christmas) holidays are here and based on interviews and calls we made, we found out that some of you are not taking advantage of this prime “gift giving season,” so we’ll make it easy for you. You don’t need to reinvent any wheels: our friends in the business will walk you through everything you need to know.

Ginny Saville from Botany Bay in Kentucky said: “If you are not making a big deal out of the Christmas season, you are losing money!”

Saville offers free gift wrapping all year ‘round, and they’ve been doing it for 12 years. They go through about 800 bows over Christmas, which is how they track sales. With 34 employees and three stores doing in excess of $1M a year each, they are a good example to follow. They are also open Christmas Eve for those last-minute procrastinators, so keep that in mind.

This will be a banner year for the smoke shop industry, which was challenged last year,  so let’s end on a high, and tap into the holiday season. Covid is not over, but life is returning to normal, however you define it. So, let’s keep the momentum going.

Tapping into the holiday spirit is not that difficult, and in these challenging times, people are looking for reasons to celebrate and be generous to their friends and family. 

Colby Kluk with 3 Buds Smoke Shop in Pennsylvania has the Spirit and told us, “Our stores get festive decorations and we offer gift baskets with products in all sizes and price ranges. We have special sales for the holidays and New Year’s and make sure all of our employees get a holiday gift from us to show them that we appreciate everything they do.”

Dani Azoulay, from Purple Haze in Panama City, Florida offers similar advice: “We decorate the stores inside and out, dress up the window displays, and run some Christmas specials. We also make sure our employees are especially cheerful, offering a ‘Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays’ to all. 

These are easy and simple things to do, and most businesses have been doing these things for decades.

Jose Garcia with Vape and Smoke Shop, West Pines in Pembroke Pines Florida gave me an itemized list of things they do, including:

1) Put up decorations, which triggers a subconscious reminder to “buy so and so a gift.”

2) They encourage employees to say happy holidays, smile and “be happy” (since a happy customer spends more…). 

3) We make mystery bags of stuff that is not moving for $10 and $20 along with Christmas ? bundles, like trays, grinders, wraps, CBD gummies, etc…

Jose also added, “those grab bags are great ways to move stuff that have become stagnant or are slow sellers.”

And our stocking stuffer options really DO offer a cool selection of gifts! 

Many people out there are looking for $10 gifts for their co-workers or friends. Garcia has the right idea: put those impulse items out where they can be seen and offer them as blind gift bags or last-minute items.

And our inventory is prime for “gag gifts,” too. Who hasn’t wanted to give a penis shaped pipe to someone they work with? Some of our products which may be considered “off-color” are just made to be featured during the holidays!

Many want to splurge for themselves or their loved ones, and NOW is the time to push your $500 bongs and pipes. Plant that idea early and get them on the program.

Some shops do things “above and beyond the obvious,” and in this competitive space, anything you can do to separate yourself from your competition is a smart move, so check out the unique program that Tom Pierson with Kaleidoscope in Springfield, MO. has initiated.

They start preparing their shops in October and on Black Friday they do not try to compete with Big Box stores. Instead, they focus on “Small Business Saturday” (the Saturday after Thanksgiving) and offer 50 percent off coupons for holiday shoppers. For them, Christmas is bigger than 4/20 and they do about $300K over the holidays.

And who doesn’t want to play Santa? 

He gives his people that chance for one special customer each season. At the register the employee asks, “Is this for you?” and if it is, and it’s less than $25, they can gift it to the customer. They call it “elfing,” and I recommend you try it too! It’s a conversation starter plus very media worthy and you’ll get attention.

Christmas season should be a big selling season for our industry. And even though people want what they want when they want it, which is year-round, it may be time to expand our horizons a bit.

-END-

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