Back to Campus!

blue college hanging sign illustration designBelieve it or not it’s almost time to head back to school.  Many young people will be heading off to college for the first time this year.  This is an exciting time but can also be a cause of anxiety.  Especially when it comes to making sure that their college freshman has what they need for a year away from Mom & Dad.

One way you can help is by creating a “Back To Campus” checklist that features items in your store that are Must-Haves for the prepared and stylish co-ed.  You can post the list to your Facebook page or Tweet it to your followers but also have printed copies available in the store.  Customers will remember that you helped get their new college student ready for the first semester in style!

Create an large “Back To Campus” feature area and make sure to display lots of  impulse items around the feature.  Display items on your checklist and show them being used together to increase sales.  This will make shopping easier for your customers because all of the items they need (and probably some items they didn’t know they needed) will all be in one spot.

The college bound student will need help getting organized so show them creative ways that your products can be used to get their dorm room ready for a great semester.  Products like dry erase boards, cork boards, and calendars of all types are essentials for a college student and are a great focal point for your store display.

Last but not least, don’t forget the fun stuff.  Once your guests have all the necessities, you can really build some add-on sales by ensuring your sales team is recommending additional fun items such as photo albums, frames, acrylic cups, coffee mugs, and throw blankets.

If your store has the ability to do special purchase items, try a promotional tie-in with back to school, such as giving customers a special price on a popular back to school item if they reach a certain spending threshold.  These are great ways to entice your customers to spend more money and increase your sales!

And don’t forget to include a coupon for Thanksgiving break.  This is the first opportunity that many college students will have to come home for a visit.  Think ahead, now that they have a half semester under their belt, what additional items might they need to pickup at Thanksgiving?  Be ready to help them figure it out!

To get you started on your own checklist, here are some ideas:

  • Dorm Room: Lamps, Plastic Storage Bins, Fan, Mini Tool kit, Picture Frames, Desk pillow, unique wall decals
  • Linens & Laundry:  Sheets, Towels, Blankets, laundry basket, hangers
  • Clothing:  New Pajamas, Slippers, Shower Shoes, 1 set Business Casual Clothes
  • Misc:  Umbrella, food storage containers, coffee mug, can opener, bookmarks, tablet bag, wireless speakers, ear plugs
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