Creative Labor Day Marketing Ideas

Use large signage outside your business so people know there is a sale.
Use large signage outside your business so people know there is a sale. (Image: Creatas/Creatas/Getty Images)

While there is some debate as to who actually suggested the first Labor Day, it was originally celebrated on Tuesday, Sept. 5, 1882. By 1884, it was agreed that Labor Day would be held yearly on the first Monday in September. Because many people have the day off, businesses hold special sales over the weekend to drive traffic to their stores. Employ a creative marketing idea that brings people through your doors over the course of Labor Day weekend.


Advertise and offer a free barbecue being held at your business location. Keep costs down by offering basic foods, such as hamburgers, hot dogs, potato chips, potato salad, coleslaw and beverages. If you have signage that allows you to change the display, advertise the free barbecue. Otherwise, create fliers, send emails and create a road sign for that day that advertises the event. If an increased marketing budget is available, create radio and television spots. Run them a couple of weeks out to start building anticipation for the event. Also, as people purchase products or services from your store leading up to Labor Day, mention that you are holding a barbecue. As people attend the event, they will take time to browse the merchandise you are offering. Also, highlight any major sales during the barbecue with loudspeaker announcements and signage.

Pay Stub or Union Card Coupon

Labor Day is about celebrating the hard work Americans pour into their respective jobs on a daily basis. To celebrate the day, offer a discount for anyone who makes a purchase and shows either their union card, corporate ID or most recent pay stub. (The earnings on the pay stub may be redacted if the customer chooses.) Create an email marketing campaign that alerts regular customers of the discount. Instruct your employees to mention it to customers in the days leading up the event as well.

Labor Day Raffle

Hold a raffle throughout the course of the day. Select an item from the store that will be raffled off each hour on the hour. Customers receive free tickets for coming to the store. At the end of each raffle, customers remaining in the store should be given a new ticket for the next raffle. People will come for the raffle, but have the chance to peruse the rest of the merchandise offered in your store. Create a grand prize to be auctioned off an hour before closing. Make a stipulation that the winner must be present. This will bring people back to the store who were there previously during the day. This concept can also be expanded to the entire weekend with prizes being raffled off Saturday, Sunday and Monday. Additional sales and specials should be prominently displayed around the location of the raffle.

Labor Day Kiddie Carnival

Create an event for the community where adults can bring their kids to your store location for a free kiddie carnival. Offer activities, such as pony rides, face painting, simple carnival games and free refreshments such as cookies, candy, popcorn and soda. This will not only bring parents who may spend money into the store, allow your business to meet younger members of the community who may become clientele as they start to get older. This is especially a good idea for a business that caters to kids, such as a kids clothing or shoe shop. Place signage around the kiddie carnival that advertises Labor Day discounts.

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