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Christmas is on Saturday, and that day/date combination can change things for businesses.

Avatar photo by Casey Woods, Executive Director | December 22, 2021
lots of presents

When Christmas lands on a Saturday it can cause some adjustments for the before Christmas shopper, and after Christmas crowds. A lot of the consumer behavior adjustments are actually good for small businesses if entrepreneurs market appropriately. Here are some things you need to remember (briefly, because I know this week is hectic):

  1. Out of town guests may arrive a little sooner than normal- If your business has a “gathering place” vibe (coffee shops, bars, some restaurant types, etc.) you need to market yourself as the place to meet up NOW. Travelers often arrive early when Christmas lands on a Saturday. If you target younger adults, they are already looking for things to do…
  2. In-town and regional consumer traffic should increase, so top of mind awareness is imperative- Online sales aren’t going to save anyone now, and getting out of town can be difficult during the week. Pressing your businesses ability to provide gifts for the specific people (or furry friends) on people’s Christmas lists can drive people to your space. Use specific examples (Shopping for mom? We have…), and don’t forget to mention stocking stuffer ideas!
  3. Family activities are on everyone’s mind- If you sponsor youth related activities, NOW is the time to push your market presence. School is out starting today, extended family members are coming to town, and people are looking for fun things to do. If you can host family activities, now is the time to push that message.
  4. Pre-holiday food service can spike (especially take out)- People don’t like to cook right before serving a big family meal. Pre-holiday take out messaging is an easy way for food based businesses to boost sales.
  5. You need to be VERY clear about after Christmas sales/hours- The biggest shopping day in the US is typically the day AFTER Christmas. But, when the day after Christmas lands on a Sunday, things can get a little weird. Be clear about your after Christmas hours, and be prepared to push information pressing after Christmas sales information very soon.
  6. Clearing inventory before the end of the year needs to be an intentional marketing push- Clearing inventory after Christmas is a solid strategy for some categories of items. You don’t want dead holiday inventory sitting in storage for a year when you could invest that cash in other profitable items. However, the push for “After Christmas Sales” can get a little tricky when it is a Monday through Friday proposition. Reach out to your best customers, use your traditional media outlets, and push social media videos/pictures to highlight sales activities.
  7. Pivot quickly to New Years Eve celebrations (which lands on a Friday)- If you are an entertainment venue/restaurant or you sell any type of party supplies (alcohol, games, etc.) a Friday New Years Eve can attract additional participants. Make sure people know to come to your business to celebrate the end of 2021.
  8. Push for advocacy among your core customers- Word of mouth advertising is vital during the holidays. Make sure your pass information directly to your best and most vocal customers. Encourage people to “tell your friends” about your activities through the end of the year.

From all of us at Emporia Main Street, we hope you and yours have a VERY Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year!

About the Author

Casey Woods, Executive Director

Before accepting the director position in March of 2009, Casey worked in both retail and agricultural jobs in the family businesses. A lifelong resident of the Emporia Area, Casey was a ten year volunteer for Emporia Main Street prior to his appointment as director. During that time he served as the board president and chair of the Economic Vitality Committee.

Casey also serves as a partner in PlaceMakers, LLC, a consulting firm that routinely works with both large and small communities, and their businesses, to promote sustainable economic growth through community and economic development practices. Casey consults with businesses, organizations and communities to understand their market capacity and fill vacant spaces. He has been involved in two projects that included crowdfunding as a part of their overall business funding strategies, Radius Brewing and Twin Rivers Winery & Gourmet Shoppe.