Happy 4th Quarter Shopping

The "holidays" are quickly approaching. How true is that statement? If you want to state the facts, there are religious holidays all year around so we, in some ways, are always in the holiday season, no? In some countries, the "holiday season" is in the middle of the summer and in others, it is the end of the year and into the New Year. Religious affiliation aside, who is to say what holidays a business should recognize, given the secular or religious country he/she may reside? In the United States, the holiday season is at the end of the year and many small businesses and retailers use that as a marketing tactic to drive sales and lure in customers to meet quarterly numbers. And part of that seduction, some businesses are sensitive to holidays like Christmas, Eid, Hanukkah, or Kwanzaa by announcing, "Happy Holidays" or 'Holiday Shopping Deals' instead of "Hanukkah Sale' and Christmas Discounts". So, the easier way as to not offend current and potential customers, is to refer to the season as a holiday season which in turn is a strong fourth quarter.

"Remember the reason for the season." Well, to many people that is the basis of their belief system but to others, it's a festive time of the year when eggnog and hot chocolate are shared, and parties and resolutions are made. As a business owner, one tries to be inclusive to all groups and not to offend others like Chick-fil-A a few years ago, Paula Dean more recently or Tommy Hilfiger a while back. Over time, a business not only learns its customer base but it learns who its customer base is not. Part of that realization is to decide whether or not to take a strong stance on certain political/religious issues. For example, Edible Arrangements is one of the only companies that will send a gift on Eid or Ramadan. This notion tells the Muslim community that they recognize them and that they celebrate their joy even though they do not announce its own religious affiliation. Just like Easter and MLK day, THIS is inclusion and a definite sales driver for the company 12 months a year.

A business must be aware of its surroundings and adapt to the respective industry, geography and demographic, meanwhile capitalizing on the seasons of choice to drive numbers and generate sales.

Happy Shopping. Cheers.

-Lubna Designs, Inc