Open to Steal – Retailer hosts gift swap for customers

Posted by Princess Phant on Friday, November 6, 2009

We just discovered a great way to share the holidays with your customers, if you are a retailer….  Host a gift swap party at your store…

Knoting a Customer Releationship

Knotting a Customer Relationship

Caroline Rose-Kerr is the owner of Knit ‘n Knibble, a specialty yarn and knitting store in Tampa, Florida, and she does just that…

Every year she hosts a gift swap party before the holidays. At 6:30pm, after the store is closed, she opens up for a party. She uses her blog, store signs and customer lists to invite people to the event.

Her rules for the party are pretty simple:
Bring a wrapped fiber related gift valued at no more than $25 to the party (arrive before 6pm please).  Drop your wrapped package at the counter and pick up a number.  At 6:30, we’ll begin unwrapping…  The person with #1 opens a gift and sits waiting.  #2 then gets to choose between what has already been opened and the surprises in the wrapped packages.  And it goes on…

Because the Knit ‘n Knibble is a fiber retailer, Caroline requires that the white elephant party carries a fiber theme.

If you are an auto parts retailer, use a car theme. A pet supplier should suggest that all the gifts relate to pets. This could work for almost any store…  You could even add simple party favors that also relate to your theme, or give out door prizes.

You don’t need to enforce or suggest any “only bring gifts from my store” rule, but most of your satisfied customers will probably find something in your shop to share at the party..

You should provide decorations around the theme and some refreshments to add to the party atmosphere. You could probably be clever and use some of your display items in the decorations as suggestions for future purchases.

Treat this like a customer appreciation event and leave the hard-selling to another time.

Thanks to Caroline for a great idea to nibble upon.  Plan a Yankee Swap party at your store to knit closer customer relations and greater holiday fun!

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