Given the realities of the day, we are all going to do our best. While it has been a difficult time for most of us, as brick and mortar retailers we are used to being flexible and creative.
As you know, Local Yarn Store Day was designed to drive people to visit their local shops. However, with the current pandemic raging in the United States, that mission may not be the best thing for everyone concerned.
For this year, let’s look at this as a day to celebrate our brick and mortar shops. Even in a global pandemic, fiber lovers everywhere are connecting with their local shops. This may be through the phone, the web, by scheduling appointments, or via curbside pickup. The numbers reported by the Commerce Department are showing this as well, as in-store retail is making a big come back from it’s pandemic low of 88% of all retail sales. That means online sales got as high as 11.8% of all retail sales while most of the country was shut down, but in-store retail is charging back and e-commerce is dropping. back to pre-pandemic levels.
The message for this September is to buy from your locally owned brick and mortar yarn stop, even if that means you’re buying from their online store, by the phone, or other socially-distanced method. As local shops, the bedrock of our industry, is doing the hard work of curating a collection of valuable products rather than just amassing a large catalog of “stuff”. Encourage customers to capitalize on the unique relationship the LYS makes with the community.
As before, it’s up to the each local store to create the excitement for their customer base. You know your market best and what approach will work for you and your customers.
Here are some tips and tricks for how to make your Local Yarn Store day successful, even during COVID-19.
Hold a socially distanced event outside — Perhaps in the parking lot, on the street, or in a nearby park. Think of anywhere outside that can be safe.
Hold a virtual events before the day to promote your special items. And of course, on the day have a special online celebration–this can be anything! Think of fun things like live streaming a walk-through of your store, holding a small (socially distanced) party in for a small group and live streaming it, have a virtual craft-together online, anything that brings your customers together.
Schedule times for people to come to your event, inside or outside.
Promote your event and products through your website, social media, email, signs, newsletter, and any other way you can.
Raise Money for a Cause
Create a charity stitch along or other fund raising event. Many organizations are in need right now; bring people together to help others.