Q: My store is hitting that dreaded July slump! What can I do to gain some momentum?

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A: Welcome to the very strange retail months of July and August. Aside from Prime Day, most customers and potential customers’ attention is focused on vacation, their Netflix queue and their summer reading list—not necessarily in that order. You may get a little bump over the July 4th holiday and a ramp up toward the end of August for Back to School, but the midpoint of July to the midpoint of August can get pretty slow. Fortunately, this is the perfect time to try out the below sales driving initiatives and tactics.

Tap into the FOMO.

One of the best ways to generate some buzz around your store is with new products. If you happen to have a product launch during this midsummer dead zone, now is the perfect time to create a pre-launch event. If you know that new product is set to drop on Tuesday, check with your merchandising team to see if you can host a pre-sale Sip and Shop event in your store. Usually these are done in the evening the day before the official launch. You can send an email out to your top customers—if you have a CRM or clienteling system that’s even better—inviting them to an exclusive preview of your new collection. Place your new product in one of your focal zones the evening before the official launch, chill the bubbly and enjoy showcasing what’s new to your customers.

Clean out your closet.

If you don’t happen to have a serendipitously timed new product launch, don’t fret! You can still create newness by bringing out or pulling forward items that have been hiding in the back that you’d like to move out of your store. If you are able to offer these items at a discount, or even as a gift with purchase (GWP), that will help to create additional traffic and buzz. As with the pre-sale idea, you can send an email out to your top customers inviting them to participate in your summer event. As an added incentive to move these older items, create a contest for your sales associates around either dollars or units sold. Think of a reward that will motivate your team since you know them best. To get the whole team involved, create a group sales goal and throw a party if you meet your goal as a store.

Make new friends.

One of the best sources for finding new customers are your existing customers. Since they already know and love your brand and product, chances are their friends will too. The summer slump is the perfect time to start a grassroots referral program to extend awareness. Start small—reach out to your ten best customers and invite them to a special shopping experience for them and a friend. Come up with an incentive so the existing customer receives a benefit for participating. Perhaps the customer who brings their friend receives a 20% discount and the friend receives a 10% one. If you don’t want to use discounts as a lever, you can offer something like a private styling session for them and their friends. You can even combine the pre-sale event with your grassroots referral program inviting them both to an exclusive preview of the new collection. There are many possibilities, so feel free to get creative!

The summer slump can feel like a drag, but it doesn’t have to be a total wash. Subscribe and respond to our next newsletter to let us know which initiatives you’ve used during slow traffic times.