We’re doing a Christmas sale in the shop, but we used to have a big wine and cheese and have members come down. However, we have an opening cocktail party in the spring and while people enjoyed the Christmas wine and cheese, we didn’t sell much more.
What you battle with is people’s schedules. December is such a crapshoot because people are busy. Even trying to find time for a staff Christmas party is challenging.
Another challenge is that we’re at least 15 minutes outside of Calgary and the roads can be bad. To drive into Cottonwood, we have a huge hill to come down. It doesn’t bother me after 20 years of driving it, but if you’re not used to it, you can bury your car in a heartbeat.
In the city, if there’s a storm, people can go to a mall, park their cars and go inside to do all of their shopping. Even a strip mall in the city is going to hurt when the weather’s bad, so that will tell you what we’re up against out here.
So, we do a Christmas sale and we send out a flyer and an e-mail to members to invite them down during set store hours. If they pop over, we have baked goods here and we give them a glass of wine if they like and let them do some shopping.
However, we don’t go out and buy a bunch of inventory for the sale. We have members who are very loyal to us and they’ll come down or else we’ll special order things for them such as personalized golf balls specialty items or whatever.
We also do gift certificates and we’ll do up a nice letter about what it gets the recipient such as custom-fitting etc. When we get their orders we’ll either drop them off or meet them in the city or whatever the best means is get their purchases to them.
If we were in the city, we would be putting on more of an event, but we’re limited in what we can do because of location.