It is impressive from a purely promotional standpoint to stand back and watch their selling strategies unfold and how well orchestrated they are. From e-mail blasts, to inserts in our local newspaper, to the hand-outs and one store even hired a greeter just for the holidays, the promotional strategies are all aimed at driving up foot traffic. One local store is offering $25 in gift certificates for every $150 spent in the store in one visit before Thanksgiving. This is designed to capture all the shopping done for the big feast many families are planning to have at home.
Another approach stores are taking is to use all available senses to get the customer completely into the experience of the holiday before they buy anything. Using scents and smells, and offering free samples of pumpkin cookies and cider, staying open longer hours and stocking the front of their store with Thanksgiving decorations, the local drug store has transformed itself into a celebration of the holidays. This store is offering free prescriptions for six months if a person moves from their existing pharmacy to this one. They are also offering gift certificates for anyone who buys over $100 of decorations and items for the holidays. The store also offers a singing turkey to anyone who spends over $100.
The Thanksgiving promotions at the local cafes and restaurants however are the most interesting. One is offering a ready-to-go Thanksgiving dinner and tickets for a family of four to see the latest Harry Potter film at the local Imax theatre. How is Harry Potter related to Thanksgiving? The local cafe owner dodged the question and said the motivation was to get the kids in a family to get their parents to buy the $79.99 bundle of the Thanksgiving Feast so they could all go to see the latest Harry Potter film at the high-quality Imax theatre. I asked him how sales were going. He said it was brisk and the tickets had to be made transferrable to other films as many of the parents weren't into Harry Potter, they wanted to see another film instead. Outside of that one glitch the promotion was wokring. The Harry Potter Thanksgiving Bundle did not include a wand however for ease of carving, I asked. Another one of the more interesting promotions was for a tour operator that had coordinated with a Las Vegas hotel to offer package travel to Las Vegas leaving at midnight on November 24th and lasting until Sunday night the 28th. They were marketing the travel package to married men as the "Mother-in-Law Escape Holiday 2010" playing up the chance to have a romantic weekend in Las Vegas with their wives instead of being anchored down to boring relative get-togethers. I called to check on how sales were and they were sold out. No doubt this program resonates with couples who want to freedom to spend their free time as they choose.
Geoghegan, T. (2010, August 4). Why don't Americans have longer vacations? The New
York Times. Retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2010/08/04/why-dont-americans-have-longer-vacations
Parker-Pope, T. (2010, February 18). How vacations affect your happiness. New York
Times. Retrieved from http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/02/18/how-vacations-affect-your-happiness/
Pawlowski, A. (2011, May 23). Why is America the 'no-vacation nation'?" CNN Travel.
Retrieved from http://articles.cnn.com/2011-05-
Quigley, P. (2011, August 13). Vacations help job and health, but Americans skip them.
ABC news. Retrieved from http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/vacations-2011-