The festive season is upon us and it provides the perfect opportunity to engage further with your local community and customers. There will be shoppers searching for items of furnishings to cater for guests over the Christmas period, whether that’s a new dining set, sofa bed or even a sofa itself, there is one final opportunity to secure some sales before the ‘January discount’ mindset shifts. So, with the Christmas season in mind, here are some examples from fellow retailers operating in the furnishing industry that could spark some festive inspiration before the big day arrives.
A good place to start is with the big man himself. Nimbus Beds recently acquired a website called Santasiphone.com where you can book a live video call with Santa. The idea here is to provide some extra family fun, while also a bit of income from the booked video calls. The business is also providing a Santas grotto at its Cupar branch, which had a “great turn out last year”.
Meanwhile, at Land of Beds, it has just held its ‘Storytime with Santa’ event in its Helsby store. In partnership with local primary schools and the Rotary Club, this unique celebration went beyond the ordinary, creating a magical experience for families and children as they get to experience the joy of storytelling with Santa himself. In fact, over 50 children were in attendance. “We see this event as a unique and innovative opportunity to connect with our local community, creating lasting memories and cultivating a delightful sense of unity,” the retailer said. And it goes without saying, that mince pies and festive singalongs were also part of the fun.
Peter Green Furnishers has also held an event of its own. Inviting local crafts people in store to set up their stalls, its Winter Fair enabled local artisans to have exposure during the festive season. There were mince pies (of course) and mulled wine for the fair goers, while children got to ride on Trigger the Train, with all proceeds being donated to its local Rotary Club. Visitors could take family photos in its huge red sleigh and even mail letters to the North Pole in its special red pillar box. Maximising the event, the retailer had special promotions running in both furniture and flooring, even offering a sofa as a prize. “We were pleased to be able to invite the community into our store during the Christmas Season and if our guests haven’t been here before, it gave us a chance to show off our beautiful showrooms.”
As for Toons, they have their very own Christmas department in store. They also dress the shop up for Christmas with several trees decorated within the store, as well as investing in large lit Christmas motifs to hang in the store windows. “The one thing we do every year to give back to the community we trade in, is that we donate £1,000 worth of food to the local food bank to help those who are struggling especially at Christmas time,” Toons added.
In fact, many businesses take advantage of Christmas Jumper Day to raise money for charities alongside other events. One such event has seen Lukehurst partner up with a local food and hospitality business Macknade. Lukehursts are hosting a special one-off pre-Christmas evening by invitation to its customers (and Macknades are inviting theirs) at its Sittingbourne store where there will be a range of Kentish wine producers, Beer/Cider and Cheese producers carrying out tastings, enabling customers to pre-order for Xmas. There will be hampers on display and available for purchase, while it is hosting a charity raffle for a local charity. Lukehursts have a winter sale preview that weekend (9th December) with extra discounts on brands and a customer loyalty discount with the added benefit of a £50 voucher to spend in Macknades food hall. “For us it’s about working with different local partners who have a similar customer profile and offering something a little bit different and interesting to our customers.”
As a final thought, and one focused on decorations, Vic Smith Beds might just win this one with their Christmas tree made out of a set of bed springs, featuring threaded lights through it. Certainly an “eye-catcher” and something that brings in extra footfall, as well as its Christmas doormat offer. “It’s an extra way of gaining footfall, and invariably they end up buying a bed!”
So, with plenty of time still left in the run up to Christmas, what is your business doing to pull in those extra sales, while offering something a bit different to brighten up the festive countdown?