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Halloween might be next Monday, but retail stores across the country are already donning their Christmas best. Who can blame them? The National Retail Federation reports 40% of consumers begin their holiday shopping before Halloween and that holiday sales can represent between 25-40% of annual sales for some retailers. That number’s even higher for product categories such as consumer electronics, alcohol and jewelry. In 2010, holiday sales — sales rung between Nov. 1 and Dec. 31 — represented 19.4% of total retail industry sales for the year, and the NRF is projecting that 2011 holiday sales will see a 2.8% increase over 2010, estimating shoppers will spend some $456.6 billion. Still, in a recession economy, brands would be remiss to think the holidays and their statistics alone will drive numbers. As my Vertical Marketing Network colleagues and I often discuss, it’s a jungle out there. Brands need to differentiate themselves, and a creative and effective way to do just that is with Point-of-Sale merchandise and promotions. While the former can be used to engage and educate your consumer, the latter is the ultimate gift for both brands and consumers alike: a friendly introduction, a complimentary sample and a gentle reminder. “It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…”
Maybe I’m just blogging out loud, but it seems like a few bells and whistles can add a lot to a brand’s image, especially at the holidays. Point-of-Sale programs and materials inspire brand awareness and loyalty, and show consumers that brands care, too.
In past holiday seasons, have certain POS items caught your eye, and why? What are you looking forward to seeing on the scene this year?
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