When things are tough, especially for small retailers, it may be time to reach out to customers in a manner so that they know the retailer is facing difficulties. When customers consider the retailer too valuable to lose, they may very well pick up their purchase levels.
Consider the case of the Green Grocer in Dallas, Texas. As Maria Halkias writes for the Dallas Morning News:
“Cassie Green isn’t above asking for help. There’s no way the co-owner of Green Grocer was going to give up without first letting her customers know the shop on Lower Greenville had reached ‘a critical point.’ The grocery/cafe/juice bar caters to shoppers who want to eat locally grown, GMO-free, and organic as often as possible. The store opened in September 2012 at 3614 Greenville Ave. with its Dallas-based financial and online grocery partner Artizone.com.”
“Recently, Green spelled it out in a letter asking regulars to stop in one more time a week or a month and spend 30 percent more. ‘If you normally spend $20 with us, could you spend $26?’ Business had tapered off. Summer was here, and knowing people leave town left her thinking: ‘I needed a Hail Mary pass.’ She was convinced her enthusiastic customers just forgot to come as often. ‘I’m so thankful for people who do the majority of their food shopping with us, but you don’t even have to do that to make an impact,’ Green said in the letter. ‘Every single customer counts. Every purchase. That’s the beauty of a small business — you all matter.’ Business has picked up, and Green is hoping it’s a sustained uptick.”
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2014 Dallas News File Photo/Ron Baselice: “Co-owner Cassie Green rings up a smoothie for a regular customer at Green Grocer, the grocery/cafe/juice bar specializing in locally grown, GMO-free and organic offerings. The store, which opened on Lower Greenville in 2012, is at ‘a dire point,’ Green said. She recently sent letters asking shoppers to stop in more often and increase spending by 30 percent. ‘I needed a Hail Mary pass,’ she said.”