Retail Grand Opening Ideas

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Using strategies that get your store off the ground with a big bang is the idea behind holding a grand opening. The key to holding a successful retail store grand opening is attracting your ideal shopper with fun activities and good deals that make them want to put your store on their list of favorite places to shop.

Fun and Entertainment

Making your grand opening a fun event is sure to create a buzz and encourage people to return. Involve the community and potential customers. For instance, if your store sells children's toys and clothing, hold a fashion show using local kids as the models. Offer other activities that appeal to kids not in the show, such as face painting and a play area to test some of the toys you sell.

Bring a Celebrity

If you know an area celebrity, inviting them to sign autographs and pose for photos at your store could help boost attendance. A celebrity doesn't have to be a big name everyone knows and who will cost you big bucks. Instead, you can bring in someone associated with your product. For instance, The Store Starters, a company that provides marketing resources for grand openings, says if you own a clothing store, invite the designer who created the t-shirts you sell.

Free Stuff

Everybody loves free stuff, and what better time to serve some up than at your grand opening. Use a giveaway consisting of a basket of goodies typical of what you sell in your store. Or, give a lucky winner a gift certificate for a shopping spree at your store. Make everyone be a winner by providing free appetizers and beverages served on small tables set up around your store so people must walk around the displays and shelves of merchandise to enjoy a bite to eat. As people leave, handing out a coupon good for a future shopping spree will help bring them back to shop.

Promote, Promote, Promote

Alert local media to the event by sending press kits that includes a flyer and a fact sheet that explains what you sell in your store and who your products are geared for. Get more coverage by encouraging a local radio station to do a remote broadcast of your event, suggests Franchise Update Media Group, a resource for the franchising industry. On the day of the event, using colorful signs, banners, balloons and sandwich boards above the door of your store and on the sidewalk in front and near the entrance helps tell passerby about the deals and fun inside.

Invite Everyone

Asking nearby, non-competing businesses to hand out your flyer will help drive traffic to the grand opening. Business and community leaders as well as chamber of commerce administrators are also good targets for a personal invitation so they become aware of your business and can refer people to your shop.

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