How do you know it’s almost Leap Day? When it is only a hop, skip and a jump away.  That’s a corny joke, but we need all the laughs we can get in the depths of the long Wisconsin winter.  And we also need fresh ideas for promotions to bring customers into the store once Valentine’s Day is over. Every four years, February 29 gives us an opportunity to do something clever.

Granted, it’s not ideal that it falls on a Thursday.  (It won’t be on a Saturday until 2048, so there’s no point waiting for that to happen!)  Since it’s on a weekday, you will probably want to do something just using emails blasts and social media in order to keep it low cost, but still fun.  

Frogs are closely associated with Leap Day, so you could offer 29% off items labeled with a frog sticker. Make the day festive with shaped sugar cookies, and a free frog-themed gift with purchase.  We may do this with socks, or dish towels, with frogs on them. As long as the cost is under about $4, it’s a price we’re happy to pay to get a customer in the door.

Since Leap Days are rare, Thryv suggests inviting your most loyal customers to an exclusive event that evening. You could offer refreshments, a goodie bag, and a special discount.  They also recommend a “One Extra” promotion, offering something extra in honor of the extra day in the year.

Birthdays are hard for those born on February 29. If you’re in a community large enough to have several people only celebrating their actual birthday every four years, you could have a cake and balloons for them that day. Be sure to take photos for your social media.

We compare our sales figures from one year to the next, but of course there hasn’t been a February 29 the past three years. Wouldn’t it be nice to take advantage of the bonus day to be closed for team building? We might have considered using that day for a staff retreat if we hadn’t lost two days of January to snow and cold. I’d love to lobby for that extra day to be in June instead of in February!

Happy Retailing,
Carol “Orange” Schroeder