Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Planning For The Holiday Season

It is hard to believe that Christmas is now less than two months away!  But in the retail world, we've been planning for it for quite a while.  I am very curious to see how Zoe's first full holiday season will play out!

You may remember my Black Friday post from soon to be a year ago - it was the first time Jim had seen Zoe's space since I signed the lease just prior to Thanksgiving.  I had been curious to see the shopping traffic in Old Town during that time frame.

Let me make the confession that I have not ever been a Black Friday shopper.  I have a friend who, with his wife, does ALL of their Christmas shopping on Black Friday.  I've just always struggled with the concept of early rising and the crowds. But Zoe will be participating in the Black Friday promotions in Old Town!  Like last year, parking will be free on the streets and at many garages in Old Town.  And many merchants will be opening early and offering great deals to their customers.  For more information on Old Town's Black Friday promotions, you can visit this special page on the Shop Local website.

And then there are the coupon books.  For years, we've received the "Shop Alexandria" and "Dine Alexandria" coupon books.  And now Zoe is going to be in the coupon book!  The team that publishes the book sent a photographer to take exterior and interior shots of the store and designed the coupon based on the offers that I determined would work best for Zoe's customer.  I had an opportunity to see a proof of the coupon yesterday and had very few adjustments.  That book will be mailed to local zip codes (both residential and business) in mid-November as well as distributed in local hotels and in the visitor's center.

Back for another year is "Small Business Saturday" sponsored by American Express.  They have already sent me a window cling for the store with the message "Shop Small" (I love it!)  The same offer stands as last year - Cardmembers who have registered their eligible American Express Card for the Small Business Saturday offer can take advantage of a $25 statement credit by shopping at Zoe and other small businesses on November 26th.  American Express also provides a number of promotional tools for businesses to help get the word out, including a $100 worth of targeted Facebook ads.

I will look forward to reporting to you on the results of all of these different promotions in a future (post holiday) blog post!

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