As a business owner, and living in a beach community, I sometimes wonder how other local retail store owners survive and also what life would be like operating a business and living in a town that includes ALL SEASONS.
We live and conduct our business in a very upscale city on the west coast of Florida. “Season” begins October 1st and ends about April 15th. So six months is what we have to make it. The “locals” support us the entire year, but by July they have had enough of the hot weather, high humidity and leave town for vacation… and the rest is history.
ENTER STAYCATION. In case you may wonder, this means that you stay home and vacation. YOU ENJOY LIFE; EAT OUT, SUN AT THE BEACH, TOUR AREAS THAT YOU HAVE NOT DONE BEFORE, AND…SHOP LOCALLY.
Considering the cost of travel and vacation and to say nothing of the economy, STAYCATION seems like a pretty good idea. So in our town this year, many of the retailers are featuring a marketing campaign that highlights a new program called “HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS”.
Beginning the day after Thanksgiving the merchants in town are supporting a wonderful three day festival. This will include a Tree Lighting Ceremony in our downtown square, a sitting Santa on his throne to welcome children for a photo shoot, live music to fill the air and wandering minstrels. Add to that, face painting for the kids, of course extended store hours, and just plain fun for the whole family!
During these difficult economic times, we all need to support one another and work to make our communities stronger. With our business, we have a great local online following. One of the interesting things with this program is that it makes it possible for people to order online and pick up their products at the store allowing them to browse, often resulting in increased sales.
Working with the local retailers has another added benefit. Friendship. It’s amazing the number of new friendships that are formed as an offshoot while working to improve your local economy. While sitting in meetings and working together, it’s interesting how you get to know your neighbors and how much you learn from listening to others that experience the same problems.
STAYCATION sounds like one solution this year as well as working together to develop ideas to grow and increase your business. Eileen Wallace
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