A neighborhood block party helps a Portland, Oregon, flower shop stay top of mind in the community and turn over excess inventory.
The Northeast Broadway Business Association expects an influx of shoppers, July 14-16, thanks to its summer sale, a family-friendly event offering ample activities, such as face painting, carriage rides, street dancing and beer tastings, along with killer discounts.
The sale grew out of “Lights on Broadway,” a Christmas-themed celebration, said Doug Fick, owner of Broadway Floral, Home and Garden. “That got a good response, so we decided to add something to draw out people in the summer too,” he said.
The shop sets up clearance tables on the sidewalk in front of the shop, as well as in the showroom. The sale proves to be an effective way to move dated items, such as leftover containers from the previous holiday season. “Some years, we’ve actually bought items specifically to sell at this event,” Fick said.
His primary goal for the sale is freeing up shelf space and generating cash flow to buy new merchandise. He also wants to attract new customers to come in the shop and see the variety of items available. In addition to fresh flowers and plants, Broadway Floral sells furniture, home accessories, stationary, jewelry, bath and beauty products, baby gifts, gourmet food, beer and wine. Once people recognize the scope of merchandise available, the shop becomes a go-to source for their gift-giving needs.
Partnering with other businesses is a key point to the event’s success.
“We may share some customers but all of us have customers unique to our business,” Fick said. “When we first started, all the businesses worked with a mailing firm who combined our mail lists, removed duplicates and then mailed out 25,000-30,000 direct pieces.” This brought loyal customers to each store who would then browse adjoining shops. Now the participants all email their customer lists and advertise the sale on social media sites.