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Get Your Santa's Closet On

Amy Campbell

November 21, 2008

3 Min Read
Get Your Santa's Closet On

Retail businesses may still manage to keep busy this holiday season, even with most people filling a little pinch in their purse strings. After all, it's hard to buck tradition, especially when it's jammed in your face via every shop window, Web ad, promotional e-mail and media outlet you encounter.

My husband and I vowed that we would forego the gift-hunting frenzy this year in lieu of making personalized presents or offering a modest gift of wine or books—items that can have great meaning or value without needing to be extravagant. But now that the season is in full swing, we find ourselves being sucked into the feverish pursuit of "that perfect gift" for each particular loved one. Ah, me. Looks like we'll be going for broke again this year, which certainly won't be a long journey!

Now, our industry sales pundits will repeatedly tell you that self-storage is a retail business; and if you're a smart manager/operator, you certainly run your facility like one. But padlocks and cardboard boxes make poor holiday surprises for most folks, and so you harldy fall into that "gonna-stuff-our-coffers-sick-this-season-fa-la-la-la-cha-ching" category of retail establishments. In fact, you may find your occupancies dwindling this month and next as occupants weigh the cost of monthly rent against that Wii game their teenagers hope to find under the tree.

So during these months of indulgent festivity, you'll need to, once again, don that creative cap and figure out ways to lure tenants to the site. I'm suggesting you take a page from Extra Space Storage's book of marketing with a "Santa's Closet" or similar campaign.

This week, Extra Space issued a press release suggesting that people use their units as the place to wrap and stash holiday gifts and keep them from prying little eyes. It's a perfect ploy, of course!

"We've discovered that our storage units are the perfect place to wrap holiday gifts, or keep wrapped and unwrapped gifts. They've become a secret workshop for Santa's helpers," said Buck Brown, SVP Marketing for Extra Space Storage. "Whether you have big-ticket items or snooping kids, the secret hiding spot allows local families to keep the element of surprise this holiday." 

In addition, the company provided a handy list of holiday storage tips:

  1. Wrap your Christmas tree with plastic or put garbage bags over it to keep the dust off.

  2. Save tubes from wrapping paper and wrap strings of light around the tubes.Make small slits at the ends of the tube in order to properly secure the plug.

  3. Store ornaments in bubble wrap, old towels or egg cartons.

  4. Be wary of storing light colored decorations in newspapers; the ink may bleed.

  5. Place candles in old socks to keep from being scratched.

  6. Label boxes of decorations for easy unpacking next holiday season.

  7. Hang wreaths by nails or store in hard containers to maintain shape.

  8. Wind up ribbons and pin at end to prevent knotting.

  9. Dispose of damaged Christmas lights before storing; it will be harder to remember which ones don’t work next year.

  10. Put Christmas tree stand and decoration essentials in a box labeled “Open First.”

I know I've been on about this lately, but the importance of imaginative marketing cannot be understated, and any opportunity to reach out to your local community via the media is invaluable. It costs nothing to submit a press release to your local paper, and if they pick it up, it's just added exposure for your facility.

If you have a clever holiday-marketing idea to share, please post it to the blog. And if you're feeling like you could use a little motivation in the marketing arena, we've just added an entire track of educational seminars related to facility marketing to the Inside Self-Storage World Expo in Las Vegas, Jan. 26-29. You can check out a detailed list of seminars and descriptions at www.insideselfstorageworldexpo.com.

About the Author(s)

Amy Campbell

Editor, Inside Self Storage

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