If you’re a pool retailer who hasn’t jumped into the deep end of Small Business Saturday, it may be time to consider it.
American Express started the effort four years ago in response to Black Friday — the Friday after Thanksgiving when big-box stores open early and provide many deals.
“It only helps to highlight the small businesses out there,” said Ann Janowicz, board member on the Association of Pool & Spa Professionals’ Retail Council.
Stores located in retail strip malls with foot traffic especially should consider joining next year’s fifth campaign and offering specials, she added.
“People are actually out there looking to patronize small businesses,” Janowicz said.
Pettis Pools & Patio has joined this marketing effort for three years, running coupon specials for $5 off a purchase of $50 and $10 off a purchase of $75. The retailer, with locations in Hilton, N.Y., and East Rochester, N.Y., is exactly the type of small business American Express is trying to help with the campaign.
“It did get people in on a day where we don’t traditionally do a lot of business,” said Jim Ornce, a retail division manager at Pettis.
The East Rochester store, located in a busy strip mall, saw a sales increase of approximately 25 percent, and the stand-alone Hilton location also saw a healthy, but lesser, bump.
“We put it on the blog, Twitter and Facebook,” Ornce said. The store also took advantage of the free marketing tools offered by American Express by printing out its Shop Small posters, offered to local businesses.
Kathy Luz, owner of Sea Turtle Pool Supply in Laveen, Ariz., said her store was open for Small Business Saturday, but didn’t see a boost in sales.
“It was very, very slow,” she said. The store only did about $170 in sales.
While the business wasn’t running any additional deals for the day, Luz was still offering anniversary specials from the store’s one-year anniversary in September.