Warm Weather Wooing Of Business
( Originally Published 1902 )
"Oh! this is the dull season—guess I'll let matters rest," says the old-time merchant.
"What's the use of forcing matters when nothing can be forced? Good plan is to go fishing—the clerks can run the store. Nobody is buying these days." So remarks one type of many storekeepers, whose conventional ideas of pushing business during the busy seasons and letting it rest upon its oars during the dull seasons, begets perhaps a pleasant and philosophical existence for himself and his assistants, but which is hardly living up to the best modern methods in business bringing.
Everybody has not gone out of town! There are any number of professional and business men, as well as workers generally, whose noses are kept down to the grindstone of effort, month in and month out, for a dozen months in the year. These men and such portions of their families as are in town need good things to eat, good things to wear—articles of use and luxury—in July as well as in January.
The highest type of retailer remembers this. He does not relax his efforts to bring trade during dog-day weather. Drop in his store and see how he is still pegging at it. The electric fans dissipate sultry atmosphere—a frequent and judicious use of the sprinkling pot is also cooling and grateful-the windows are as clean as a new silver dollar-the window displays are bright and well considered-the ads are summery and interesting—the goods are seasonable in short an air of invitation " to come and be comfortable while getting your money's worth in summer needs" is evident.
Men's serge suits, crash suits and lightwearables of every sort, with shirt waists, silk waists, outing dresses and skirts, as well as other summer garments for women, misses and children are being pushed by advertising.
Many a furniture and upholstery dealer is still shouting "Awnings, slip covers and summer curtains," to say nothing of hammocks, reed furniture, etc. As for the grocery dealer, he has a lot of cooling drinks, tinned foods and summer requirements for the inner man (and woman). And it would not be just to that great American institution-the soda fountain—to say nothing about it. When you come to think "on't," it is remarkable how many summer articles there are that can stand a lot of advertising, not only in newspapers, but also by window displays, and as previously hinted, a cool, inviting store.
I have just been reading Thackeray's " Book of Snobs," and was struck with the fact that Thackeray—great as he was—practically struck but one note through all his works, and that was puncturing shams. Whether you read the " Yellowplush Papers" or " Vanity Fair," you will find his incisive pen pricking social bubbles, and although he played but one key, he played it with such skill that all the world stopped to listen.
There is a thought here that can be applied to warm weather wooing of business. It is: Have one dominant point underlying all the summer advertising. And that point may well be
Ours is a cool store!
Vary it as you will, twist in new words, bring in new phrases and sentences, but in every ad bring out the idea clear and strong that your store is a nice place to stop in because it's cool and comfortable. It will strike a responsive chord in the bosom of everybody who swelters even a little bit under the sizzling sun that will be with us for three months to come.