Meeting Minute With Marilu

Making the Most of Your Store Launch

Make a splash in a new market
There are lots of moving parts in opening a new retail business or new location for an existing operation. In addition to ensuring that the physical location is ready to go, the shelves are stocked and your staff is properly trained, you’ve got to make sure your customers show up and get excited about what you’re offering

You want to make a big splash in your market, but planning a grand opening party might not be part of your repertoire. You want creative ideas that will resonate with your new market, but you may not know where to begin or what will work. You’ll need high-quality, dependable vendors for everything from marketing and advertising to entertainment, catering and security, but finding the right service providers in an unfamiliar location takes significant time and effort. Getting the word out to your potential customers in the right media outlets and making the right investments in advertising in a new market can also be tricky. Too much time in front of a computer and on the phone means less time spent stocking shelves and dressing mannequins.

Consider these elements that are vital to the success of your store launch:

  • Marketing and advertising: pre-event marketing should include print ads in local publications, email marketing to local potential guests, direct mail, digital advertising on top local websites and on-site marketing that capture your guests’ interest and build excitement well before your store opens.
  • RSVPs: Outside of just inviting excellent guest prospects, make sure to capture all of their pertinent contact information when they RSVP. Even if the prospects don’t make it to the actual opening, you’ll have all of their information for future marketing and promotions. RSVPs will also help provide an estimated number of guests at the event and will help prepare you for the expected crowds.
  • Pre-event information: An informed attendee is a happy attendee. Email updates with reminders of event details, news about specials and product highlights build anticipation and keep your guests engaged from the time they RSVP until they arrive at the actual opening.
  • Vendors: Whether you need food and beverage, live entertainment, security or have other creative ideas for your event close relationships with top local vendors will get you top-quality services at a great price.
  • On-site event management: The day of your grand opening is a busy one, and the more details you can hand off to an event planner on that day, the better for your sanity. Your event planner should manage the entertainment, ensure the bar is stocked and generally manage the little details of the event that make it seamless. You’ve got your own details to worry about!

 Photography by Jonathan Fredin.

Author Info

Marilu McQuilkin

When Marilu decides to place something in her “likes” column, she throws her energy into it 100 percent. As Director of Meetings and Events for S&A Cherokee her goal is nothing short of perfection for every event, and she is constantly working behind the scenes to ensure that clients and attendees never notice a single glitch (on the off chance that there is one).

Email: mmcquilkin@sacherokee.com @MPMcQ21