Saturday, 16 June 2012

Retailers: How to score on Father's Day, Mother's Day and every other day we commemorarate something

While walking to my gym in the shopping centre, I saw this makeshift store in the middle of the walkway.  It was the eve of Father's Day.  My first impression was that this is a promotion by Puma themselves, but it was actually set up by a privately owned clothing store named Soho.  Soho just happened to be running a sale on Puma goods.  Their permanent store is not ten metres away from this stand, but this stand is in a prime position to capture the most foot traffic in the mall: it is where three major anchor tenants are located.

Setting up a stand - even when an already established tenant does it - is nothing new.  What's cunning about Soho's stand is their timing.  Every year on the day before Mother's Day and Father's Day they bring a few tables, clothing racks and small sound system for attention, then sell some relevant items at a marked down price.  This time around the theme was Puma branded sneakers, shirts, jackets and hoodies.  

Dads don't wear brogues and checked shirts any longer - in fact those types of dressers are few and far between.  I do see plenty of men beyond fifty wearing sporting apparel though.  Nike, Reebok and Puma are not just for cool young kids any longer.  

At Soho's stand there was no lame signage proclaiming this to be a Father's Day Special anywhere, but this is what I heard from three different people while I was perusing their gear:

"Will this fit dad?"
"I'm buying this for my father."
"If this doesn't fit my father can I return it for another size?"

This is no coincidence.  This stand was positioned to capture undecided Father's Day shoppers at the right moment: just as they enter the shopping centre, ready to spend on a gift for dad.

Helping your decision
Let's face it: most people shop for a Mother/Father's Day gift the day before, with little idea of what they're going to get.  At worst you're still open to changing your mind even when you think you're sure of what you will buy for them.  Either way, this stand grabs your attention and warrants consideration.  Soho is making Father's Day shopping easier by suggesting some gift ideas for dad.  Before I saw this, I would never have considered Puma wear as a gift for my father.  Puma may not like to be seen as a brand for middle aged fathers, but for retailers it's about turning stock over.  

Unspectacular and simple as it is, this makeshift store drew in plenty of cash for its owner.  "Sales from this stand alone in one day exceeds what the store makes in a whole weekend," the frank and open owner told me.  Of course this would probably only apply when Soho is running a promotion, but these properly timed promotional blitzes help increase revenue.  Snatching a white and blue Puma jacket for my dad, I learned a lesson in timing, positioning and simplicity.  

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