Gift-Giving Etiquette for a Retail Store Grand Opening

by Ashley Black; Updated September 26, 2017
Man with grand opening sign

The grand opening of your new retail store is an excellent opportunity to begin building your client base. New businesses sometimes struggle to flourish when few people know they even exist. By holding a grand opening for your store, you can introduce your business and your products to a wide variety of potential customers on the first day your store is open. Giving gifts at your opening can seal the deal for customers who might want to shop at your store. Prepare beforehand to make sure your gift-giving etiquette is up to par.

Advertise Beforehand

One of the main goals of a grand opening is to establish a client base right off the bat. Therefore, make you sure you advertise for your grand opening well beforehand. Giving gifts at an opening that almost no one attends doesn’t help either your client base or your reputation as an up-and-coming business. Word of mouth is a great way to advertise your grand opening, but don’t rely solely on verbal transmission. Print flyers and send postcards to potential clients if you already have a mailing list or a client base in mind. Get your ad in the local newspaper and see if you can have the opening announced over the radio.

Gift Ideas

Once you have put out the word about the grand opening, start gathering gifts to give out during the event. When selecting gifts, choose things that are useful to customers in order to form a good first impression. One of the easiest ways to do this is to give out retail discounts for items you carry in the store. For example, if you hand out 25 percent off coupons to every person who attends your grand opening, those people are more likely to return than a person who received nothing. Other gift ideas include gift certificates to your store and free items.

Distribution of Gifts

If you’re just opening a retail store, you probably are not swimming in extra money with which to buy gifts for your opening or reduce your prices and future profit with certificates and coupons. Switch up the distribution of your gifts if you can’t afford to give something to everyone who attends. For example, give out gift certificates to the first 100 people to walk through the door on the day of the opening. Print a large number of small coupons, like 5 or 10 percent off, and a small number of larger coupons, like 35 or 50 percent off. Mix up the coupons and hand one out to everyone. Consider advertising this gift-giving distribution process on your flyers and other ads so your customers know what to expect.

Raffles

Give out or sell tickets to a raffle for your grand opening. Choose a grand prize that your customers would probably like, such as a new TV. Upon entry to the event, offer your customers the opportunity to get a ticket for the raffle; draw the winning ticket later in the event. If you choose to sell tickets for a small price, you can even offset the price of the grand prize from your own pocket.

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