Dear Joe,

Dear Joe,
I would like to develop a strong retail program for the holidays, but I’m not sure what else I can do other than retail coffee, tea, and travel mugs. Do you have any recommendations?

Sally Mccutchen

Dear Sally,

Retail is a great way to grow your business around the holidays, so you are at least headed in the correct direction. Many cafes loose potential business around this time of year, because they do not promote retail sales enough. Furthermore, it is important to realize that your retail sales can encourage your guests to return for more. Offering discounts on coffee to customers who purchase a drink container is a great way to promote both coffee and retail sales. When a customer chooses one of your products as a gift, the best outcome is that the recipient will then pay a visit to your cafe, so try to orient your sales around that goal.
Your regular customers are your greatest marketers, and the holidays are the easiest time of year to take advantage of their convenience. Gift cards are a great way to build upon an existing retail program because they aren’t very difficult to create, and many new customers will begin to show up after the holidays (this will extend your holiday season). You can also bank on the fact that many gift cards will never even be used. Although it is more desirable to reel in customers with wonderful coffee and excellent service, selling an unused gift card is never a bad thing either.

Yours in coffee,

Josephius A. Graham
Stockton Graham & Co.