As we’ve discussed time and time again, one of the best ways to battle big box stores and e-tailers is to make your store an “experience.”

For mom-and-pop stores, that may be easier said than done. However, some retailers are taking advantage of the holiday season by decking the halls with elaborate displays that help draw in customers.

A hardware store in Colorado, for example, does this every year with great success. But there’s also a retailer in the pool and spa industry who is making the most of Christmas: Seasonal Specialty Store in Foxborough, Mass.

Each year at Seasonal Specialty, you’ll find a giant display of Christmas trees by the windows, nutcrackers at the checkout display, a cabinet of holiday-themed mugs and other signs of holiday cheer.

Addressing all the senses, too, is key.

“We try to create an ambiance,” says Michael Small, co-owner and partner of Seasonal Specialty. “We have an old-fashioned popcorn machine. When people come in, we offer them a bag of popcorn for free. We have the old-time Christmas music going. You try to give them the feel between the smell of popcorn, the sound of the music and all the lights.”

Creating the Christmas display, which has been an integral part of Seasonal Specialty for more than 35 years, is quite a production.

“We rip the store apart and put it back together again,” Small says. “We do Christmas with trees, collectibles, ceramic houses, Byer’s Choice carolers, unique gifts, lights and garland.”

Pre-lit Christmas trees are a big seller for Seasonal Specialty, and as such, they play a big part in the decor.

“Our trees are like walking through a forest with snowflakes above,” Small says. “We shut off all the overhead lights and turn spotlights onto the trees instead. It’s in front of windows, so if you’re driving by, you see all the trees.”

It may be a lot of work, but Small knows it’s a big hit among families.

“We actually have people that take their family Christmas pictures in front of our trees.”

 

Kathryn Howard is Assistant Editor of AQUA Magazine.