Revamping Holiday Marketing Strategies
Sherman's, the Peoria, Ill.-based electronics, appliance and furniture retailer whose area was one of the hardest hit by layoffs this year, also focuses on all holidays with equal vigor. "We have a balanced promotional calendar over 12 months in our four major categories, so there's no start or stop to holiday merchandising," said president Paul Sherman. But this year, based partly on consumers' aversion to financing, the company is reworking its merchandising and promotional calendar.
"We've wiped the slate clean. Every other year, we'd tweak a bit, but this year we started fresh," Sherman said. "For the last five or six years, we ran the same type of financing programs for a particular time frame. This year, folks don't want to finance things as much, and are looking for special purchases and private events."
The biggest change Sherman's has made is placing a strong emphasis on special buys - focusing on a particular category model in a category - to create high-impact deals. "We would run an ad for just one particular TV model we bought by the container and because of that, can sell at $100 below Best Buy and Walmart," Sherman said. "Our calendar is just packed with these special buys through January, whereas in the past, we would run only one or two of these a year."