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Don’t Miss Out on Easter Business

Posted: March 24, 2011, 6:20 p.m., EDT

While Christmas is far and away the holiday that dog owners splurge the most on their animals, Easter, in my opinion, is not that far behind in second place. Not only do customers love buying Easter-themed biscuits (e.g., bunnies, eggs, carrots, chicks, etc.), they see the improving weather (and melting snow) as a signal to buy a new collar/leash set or sporty harness for those long, springtime walks. Don’t miss out on Easter business. Here are some tips to maximize your sales:

1) Host an Event
One of our more popular events is our Canine Easter Egg Hunt. We fill plastic eggs with small biscuits, gift certificates and vouchers for free products and "hide” the eggs throughout the store for dogs to sniff out. It really turns into a family affair with kids going around with their dogs looking for Easter goodies. This year, we are bringing in a professional photographer with a spring backdrop and Easter props for pooch pictures. Part of the proceeds from the photos will go to a local canine cause. Also, we have an Easter Bonnet Photo Contest where we take pictures of dogs in their best headpiece. We post the pictures and let the public vote on their favorite photo. We normally get 50 to 60 entries into this contest--that is 50 to 60 potential sales over a two- to three-hour period.

2) Offer Doggie Easter Baskets
Every child’s favorite part of Easter is opening their Easter basket on Easter morning. For those with canine kids, I offer at several different price points Easter baskets filled with treats, toys and chews. I take pictures of the baskets and market them on Facebook. Based on my Facebook posts alone, I took dozens of phone orders last year. The phone orders coupled with my in-store Easter basket display yielded nearly 100 sales.

3) Display New Merchandise with Easter in Mind
As you begin to rid your sales floor of winter merchandise, make sure you work vibrant spring colors (yellow, pink and light blue) into your displays. What I like to do is get ½ dozen or so different spring floral dresses and feature them in with my Easter displays. Also, I rotate my collar stock to highlight spring pastels. Not only should your products change with the season, but the way you display them should as well. During the weeks leading up to Easter, I replace the silver buckets I use to merchandise some of my products with Easter baskets. It really adds a nice touch. Also, I put bunny ears on most of my dog mannequins.

Hopefully, these simple strategies will help the cash register ring as we roll into spring.

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