Boost your shop visits with a Saturday Sampler

A Saturday Sampler is a Block of the Month programme that is designed to bring customers into your shop on a monthly basis.  It can not only increase your number of regular customers but also provide an opportunity to sell new products. Bringing extra customers into your shop will also help generate sales as the buzz and energy will help create a sense of urgency and excitement.
 
The programme is designed to bring them into your shop for a period of time so that you can show them all the new things that have come into your shop over the last month.
 
How does it work?
 
  • Set aside one Saturday per month as your Saturday Sampler day with a set start time e.g. 10am, 12noon, 2pm. You might have multiple start times for different groups if many people sign up. Choose a time that is convenient for participants without overcrowding your shop.
  • Participants will receive a free block each month but they must follow the rules of the programme. (see below)
  • Charge a sign-up fee to cover the cost of the blocks you give away. 
Saturday Sampler rules
 
To receive a block free each month the following rules apply:
 
  • Must bring their completed block each month.
  • Must be present at the start time of the Saturday Sampler presentation – latecomers must pay for their block of the month.
  • Must stay for the whole duration – the will receive their block of the month at the end.
  • One free block per person – extra blocks can be purchased.
  • No one else can collect your free block if you are unable to attend Sampler Day but it can be purchased for you.
  • Participants who cut fabric wrong may use fabric from their stash or purchase replacement metreage from the shop. 
  • Be firm and fair by applying the rules to everyone without making exceptions.
 
Preparation
 
  • Determine what your pattern will be and the cost.
  • Determine what fabric you will be using the colours and the cost.
  • Make a sample and hang in your shop three months before you start to create interest.
  • Promote the programme in your newsletter, social media and in flyers.
  • Have people sign up for the programme in advance so that that you have a good idea of numbers
  • Cut more kits than the number of people signing up in case extra people come on the first month.
  • For each block, ask a member of staff, family member or friend to try making the block from the kit so that you know it can be made from the fabric.
  • The day before the sampler, set up tables in your classroom or workshop and set out the block it for that month and a pre-made example block. Also lay out your new products and anything else you want to show or demonstrate.
On the Day

Set up tables to display your new fabrics and products. You might also display some discounted products that you want to clear from your stock. You may even use the opportunity to demonstrate some of these products.
 
Giveaways can be great as an extra reward – you might use older patterns or free patterns that can be printed from manufacturer’s websites. Include an activity that gets people involved and makes the Saturday Sampler feel less like a sales presentation. An activity such as Show and Tell could work well for this. You may even consider refreshments but make sure you consider this is in your timings and programme cost.