Small Business Center
By Angel Cicerone, Tenant Mentorship
Valentine’s Day can be a gold mine for retail and restaurants. While traditional fine dining and romantic gifts still rank high, there are opportunities to generate sales for every type of business.
Put together a bundle of products or services with your shopping center neighbors. It could be dinner, movie tickets, a massage and flowers. You can all offer the same bundle at a discount or create a lead-generating contest and award the package to one lucky winner.
Among Valentine’s consumers, 11% are showing love by buying something special for themselves. Market directly to this segment with a “Show yourself some love” promotion that encourages them to gift to themselves this Valentine’s.
Valentine’s Day is a great time to express your love and appreciation for your customers. Consider a special party or discount for VIP customers. Perhaps a free drink or champagne toast during Valentine’s week, no strings attached. Or a box of candy as a gift with purchase.
The official date of this unofficial holiday is Feb. 13, and the intent is for women to celebrate their female friendships. Every type of business can host a Galentine’s Day party! From group makeovers at salona, cooking classes at restaurants, girls workout events or even “how-to” events at craft stores. Encourage women to bring their friends and provide special touches they can enjoy. Be sure to stock up on the rosé.
For as many people who love Valentine’s Day, there’s a group that pretty much hates the holiday and everything it stands for. Have fun with this market segment by hosting an anti-Valentine’s party with anything from black balloons to a free viewing of the movie Love Stinks to cookies with anti-love sentiments written on them. Restaurants can offer “fries before guys” specials, along with signature Stupid Cupid cocktails. While this may seem a little dour, it can be great fun and will be appreciated by many.
No matter what a person’s relationship status, their love of pets is a constant and powerful force in life. On Valentine's Day, those ages 25 to 34 are expected to spend $12.70 each on pet presents! Just because you don’t own a pet store doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the benefits of pet love. Host a “love your pet” event that can include anything from a photo station for people/pet photos, a pet adoption event or even a pet/owner look-alike contest. Consider giving a portion of all proceeds to a pet adoption organization as an added attraction.
Invite your social media followers to post their love stories or a photo of them and their significant others. The post with the most likes wins a romantic prize.
February is also American Heart Month and offers a great tie-in for Valentine’s Day. You can do something as simple as offering a donation to the American Heart Association for everyone who wears red to your business on a certain day or posts a photo of themselves in red on your social media with a specific hashtag. It’s an easy way to get people engaged and contribute to awareness of heart health.
Whichever path you choose, promote it in-store on your website and via email and social media. Decorate your store or restaurant and provide those extra touches that express your intention to show the love!