Page 174 - Source Winter
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RETAIL PERSPECTIVE
   EVENTFUL
MARKETING
PARTY ON TO BOOST CUSTOMER TRAFFIC
BY POORMINA APTE
ou can’t ask Mary Liz Curtin to pick
her favorite event from the dozens upon dozens that her store Leon & Lulu in Clawson, MI. hosts. It’s like
asking a mother to choose a favorite child. But one of the many she loves is the annual “Thanks for the Mammaries” that takes place on or around the last day of September to kick o  breast cancer awareness month. “It’s always a great party,” Curtin said. “We have a couple of local restaurants co-sponsor it with us and they provide ice cream and pizza.”
The list of events that Leon & Lulu hosts is impressive: There’s a store birthday party every year called Let Them Eat Cake, which
is essentially a baking competition; fashion shows galore (real customers walk the runway); Made to Eat in Michigan and Made to Drink in Michigan touting local gourmet products; shopping nights for a whole host of charities including alumni associations; pet adoptions, even blood drives that take place on premises; juried art shows, and Books and Authors celebrating regional writers.
WHY BOTHER?
So many events can seem like a lot of work — and they are — but Curtin said the payo s, sometimes tangible, often not, are totally worth it. “We’re a destination store and don’t have any drop-in tra c. So we really have to make sure that our customers remember to shop with us. We need to give them a reason.”
Curtin reminds retailers that events create
a sense of immediacy, you have to go now to shop. “They have really raised the perception
HAVING THESE PARTIES HELPS CEMENT OUR FRIENDSHIPS WITH OUR CUSTOMERS. PEOPLE WANT TO BUY THINGS FROM PEOPLE THEY KNOW AND LIKE.
– Mary Liz Curtin, Leon & Lulu
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