BIG NIGHT IN – Brighten the Winter Gloom!

There’s no escaping it, January in Britain is gruesome for everyone concerned – going back to work for another year, putting away the Christmas decorations, battling through ice and snow, and juggling the bills. And there are those who claim Blue Monday, the last Monday in January, is the most depressing day of the year… No wonder shoppers jump at the chance to have a Big Night In around now to cheer themselves up. That’s why retailers should be sure they stay stocked in their food, drink and other sections where purchases are closely connected to home entertaining.

chazThere are plenty of good reasons for a party in 2015, and for livening up stores with eye-catching decorations to motivate shoppers to get in the mood. There’s the Eurovision Song Contest, love it or otherwise, in all its camp glory, on 23 May. And at the other extreme, the Rugby World Cup starts on September 18th and runs through to October 31 – which by the way, just happens to be another big date you’ll want to celebrate in store, Halloween.

Before all that, if you can survive the first ten days of the year – the date by which three quarters of adults who make New Year’s resolutions are likely to have thought better of the idea, according to the experts – there are a number of occasions in the first quarter that you can raise a glass to.

Flag up all things Scottish in your store, from shortbread to haggis and whisky, in time for Burns Night on Sunday 25 January (think Christmas Day plus 1 month.) Chinese New Year is on Thursday 19 February. This is the Year of the Sheep – so get the displays right and watch the shoppers flock in!

If you think you’ve seen it all before, you can celebrate the fact that you have, on Monday February 2nd.  That’s Groundhog Day, a great excuse to get down and party, US-style. The Land of The Free – plenty of options there, and all in the best possible taste. The same goes for Valentine’s Day on Saturday 14 February, which again gives you plenty of scope for having fun in your stores.

Barely a heartbeat later, Tuesday 17th February is Pancake Day – and depending on your style, why not turn it into a full blown Mardi Gras fiesta, with fancy dress for all! After that it’s Lent until Easter Day, which falls on Sunday 5th April, so you may find some of your stricter shoppers switching to low fat/no fat and giving up meat.

The message is, whatever your shoppers are into, it’s all good for sales. So make sure they can enjoy a Big Night In any time they feel like one.