Whether you have children or not, it’s easy to imagine the hectic lifestyle of keeping your grocery and errands list together, along with a small army of kids. Chances are your demographic is busy moms who love to shop, so wouldn’t you want to make their lives easier with a kid-friendly environment?
It is one thing to put a ball pit in the middle of your retail store, and another to make children feel welcome to accommodate busy parents. Let’s work with the latter. Here are five tips on how to make your independent retail store more welcoming to kids:
- Snacks – and not the messy kinds. Retail stores that have any sort of treat, whether it is hard candies or cheese and crackers are inviting to anyone, but it also works for kids. You want to have a small snack placed by the door or your register to keep the “home-like” feel to your establishment. And just in case mothers bring their caravan of small children, the snacks will keep them happy, giving mom more time to shop. Think of snacks that are easy to clean: cheese cubes, apple slice, or pretzels. Nothing sticky or slime-y.
- A place to play. It isn’t suggested to turn your beautiful store upside down to accommodate to children, but if you happen to have an empty corner or extra floor space, providing a small children’s table with coloring books and crayons wouldn’t be a bad idea. Wouldn’t it be nice to hear a customer say, “I love coming to your store, I can shop for twice as long while my daughter is playing in your ‘Kids’ Corner.’”?
- Kid’s Open House. Open houses seem to be the answer to a lot of marketing strategies, but a combination of kids and parents is a win-win for everyone. Create a kids’ night with events like: story book hour, puppet show, etc. and then offer a sale for parents. “Come to Kids’ Night this Wednesday for Arts and Crafts and 50% off all items in the store!” You also may want prep your staff in “Kids 101,” having a staff that is great with kids will help your great reputation soar.
- Kid Test Area. If you have a baby line or toddler toys you carry in your store, why not let the kids test them out? Creating a small section in your store with “tester toys” much like the adult equivalent of perfume and lotions in department stores. Chances are the kids will play with these test items, fall in love and the sale will practically pop out of the ground. Remember to sterilize the toys after store hours have come to a close.
- Boogie Fever. Everyone loves to sway to great music, and if you don’t, maybe you should give it another shot. Keeping a small stereo hidden in your shelves among the children vendor lines playing soothing music for kids could be your golden ticket. This creates a welcoming environment for children walking through the aisles with their parents.