Starting on July 13th and running through August 24th, the Alexandria SBDC will be presenting a series of events for retailers and restaurants. Every Monday, the SBDC will have a guest speaker presenting on a different topic. We’re excited about this series and the impact it will have on our small business community.
In the meantime, we thought we would share some information on the trends in retail for this summer, as well as some tips that you can implement before attending one of our workshops. We hope that these tips will allow you to boost your sales and avoid making some common retail mistakes.
Summer Retail Outlook
The summer retail outlook is quite positive. A combination of factors, including rising incomes, declining gas prices, and positive job growth are all contributing to additional consumer spending. Kiplinger’s Economic Outlook is projecting a 7% increase in sales at bars and restaurants this summer and a 10% increase in online and catalog sales.
When people have more disposable income, they also tend to travel more, which is beneficial to retailers. While some areas are not equipped for tourist traffic, Alexandria has a great infrastructure in place to accommodate tourists and benefit from increased tourism activity. Retailers should think about ways to capitalize on these opportunities.
Tips for Retailers This Summer
There are several things that retailers can do to make the most of the summer retail season. Here are a few tips:
- Send monthly emails over the summer that highlights seasonal offerings and specials
- Engage with customers over social media; showcase a new product or provide a seasonal discount
- Participate in local community events that are held during the summer, like festivals, summer concert series, or farmers markets; even if you’re not able to sell products at these events, you can take advantage of this opportunity to promote your business
- Host a party or event in your space, or invite other organizations to use your space for an event
- Refresh your window display; as customers stroll during warm summer evenings, make sure your space looks fresh and inviting
What are some of your favorite retail strategies for the summer? Tweet your ideas to @AlexVASBDC and let us know what we’re missing!