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Standing Out in the Holiday Season Crowd

By John Ranes, Industry Educator, Writer, Business Owner

It’s almost the most wonderful time of the year again – the holiday shopping season. As a custom framer, you know that it’s also one of the most important times of the year in terms of your bottom line.



According to the National Retail Federation, more than half of shoppers begin searching for Christmas and Hanukkah gifts as early as October, so it’s time to get your shop in the holiday mood. To help, here are some ways your shop can stand out in this year’s seasonal crowd.



Incorporating Gift Items


Did you know that in the United States, the average gift store generates $325,000 in annual sales, while the average frame shop generates $175,000? The blending of both of these industries could prove very profitable for your custom framing shop, and the holiday season is a great time to introduce seasonal gift items into the product mix.





At our store, The Frame Workshop, in Appleton, WI., we offer an extensive collection of gift items year round, and this grows significantly during the holidays. The addition of gift items to a custom framing business really is no different than adding artwork, prints, home décor, art supplies, print on demand, or similar products. In fact, diversification is a matter of survival today for many retail businesses both large and small, perhaps particularly so for custom framers since framing is a needs-based service that often fails to draw spontaneous shoppers.



By diversifying your product mix to include holiday-related gift items, such as ornaments or nutcrackers, transforming your shop into a Winter Wonderland, and hosting holiday-themed events, you can attract a larger audience of clients and generate an increase in floor traffic.



Deck Your Halls


Never underestimate the impact that a festive setting can have on foot traffic. By the middle of November, The Frame Workshop looks like a winter wonderland, with 12 to 15 decorated trees and 600 Nutcrackers, and every year we hear compliments from our customers.





At any custom framing shop, the addition of seasonal gift items can have the benefit of softening the store’s appearance and creating a warmer, more homey environment.



If you’re not into adding inventory, space and dollars for Christmas Décor items, think about adding elaborate decorative bows to the corners of key framed items in your shop. This stimulates the thought process that artwork can indeed be gifted. You can also bring out holiday cookies and hot cider if you live in a colder climate – those little touches show that the business has a real personality!



Engage Your Community


When talking with other small business owners, I always encourage them to step out of their shops and get involved in the community. Supporting local holiday events is a great way to do this, and the benefits are two-fold — connecting with customers and increasing goodwill with community organizations. Something as simple as serving hot chocolate at the local tree lighting ceremony can be an effective way to connect with customers. Each community has its traditions, so be on the lookout for creative ways to get involved.


At The Frame Workshop our gift products always include our huge array of nutcrackers, so we also decorate and provide nutcrackers to a local museum display room during the holidays. In the past, we’ve even participated in a number of Christmas parades. Not only does this promote our support to our local community, but it’s also another chance to connect with customers, keeping us top of mind for holiday shopping. Think about ways that you could do the same.

This article is intended for educational purposes only and does not replace independent professional judgment. Statements of fact and opinions expressed are those of the author(s) individually and, unless expressly stated to the contrary, are not the opinion or position of Tru Vue or its employees. Tru Vue does not endorse or approve, and assumes no responsibility for, the content, accuracy or completeness of the information presented.

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