Break out the summertime fanfare  

By Gordon Hecht, YSN Contributor

It’s the Super Bowl, The Masters, Black Friday and the Rose Bowl Parade all wrapped up in one package. It’s the start of the summer selling season. And it starts this week.

The next couple of months will bring the combination of Memorial Day and Independence Day, the two hottest holidays on the mattress selling calendar. Many of your shoppers wait for these holidays to order their new bed.

Think of all the other special days over the next 10 weeks. Mother’s Day, graduation, weddings, Father’s Day, back to school. Summer is also when many families move to new homes; prime mattress selling time.

Your advertising will bring in lots of foot traffic. Your shop’s gotta look ready. Now the choice is yours. Will you have a sale or will you have an event?

It’s the point-of-purchase display (POP) that you use that will make your store pop.

Imagine you weren’t part of our retail world. Memorial Day and July 4th would be times to decorate your home and yard. Flags, bunting, grilling, fireworks, music, parades and more! That’s what turns a holiday into an event.

Setting the right POP material lets your shopper know that something special is going on.

Your event starts outside your building. Set out fresh flags and banners. Lots of balloons. They are inexpensive and fun.

Add in the summer sounds of music. Even in the parking lot, if the landlord will let you. It’s OK to decorate the delivery vehicle too.

Next are window banners. Keep them simple, six words or less. “Holiday Sale – Special Savings,” “60-month financing,” “Mattresses as low as $199.”

Your shop’s interior is a blank canvas! Keep the summer soundtrack going. Pin simple red, white and blue helium balloons to your best sellers and the ones you want to move out. Use a marker to add “$49 a Month” or “Hot Buy.”

Get your factory reps to send tent cards or trifolds. No need to place them on every bed, but enough so they are noticeable. Be sure that every mattress has a printed price tag with the holiday savings price. Use kick-out cards if you have them.

Add in bunting, crepe paper streamers and small flags to get that holiday feel.

No event is complete without the proper wardrobe. Just like you might dress in costume for Halloween or wear the green on St. Paddy’s Day, this is the time to don the good ol’ red, white and blue!

Our friends in Canada have plenty to celebrate too. Starting this week there are at least eight national and regional observances including Victoria Day and Canada Day.

Play it right and your shop will look like a fun party and not just another box with fluffy white rectangles. Put on your holiday smile and rock it this selling season.

Gordon Hecht is a business growth and development consultant to the retail home furnishings industry and a regular contributor to YSN. You can reach him at

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