Updated: May 18, 2020
Interested in selling fireworks out of a tent? We at Spirit of ‘76 have been operating a fireworks tent for more than 30 years. Our tent manager Brannon has listed some key tips to consider before getting started.
Your location ought to be accessible to your customers. People will go to the location that is most convenient or prominent for them. Consider having your tent close to an intersection or a highway exit.
Traffic Flow and Parking
When planning out your season, it is important to make sure that the location of your tent is not only easy for your customers to find but also has good traffic flow. Make sure your entrance is clean and wide enough for cars to enter and exit. Remember the traffic you have on the 3rd and the 4th of July will be much heavier than opening day. For first
year tents, test out the flow of traffic at the beginning of the season to prepare yourself for the peak of sales closer to the 4th. This can be done by making sure that your parking lot is well marked with signage and banners.
The outside of the tent is the first thing that your customers will see. Make your tent stand out from the street with inflatables such as sky dancers, branded flags, and lots of color. Another way to get your customers to the tent is to have your big sales and specials easily seen from the road. This could be a banner on stakes, a digital board, or an old-fashion billboard. If your tent accepts credit cards, be sure to have a sign that can be seen from the road. Credit cards are one of the most popular payment methods in today’s world.
Be sure to have an open and clean entrance. Having your baskets and cards ready to go at the front of the entrance is key. Look into getting flat carts for your customers to use. By giving them a larger cart rather than a basket, they are likely to purchase more items.
Wide aisles are essential to having your customers flow throughout the tent. Be sure to make your aisles wide enough so they are accessible for all of your customers. Keep in mind that customers who are wheelchair users, customers who use a walker, and customers who have a baby stroller have enough room to navigate through the aisles.
Create the flow of the tent to take your customers throughout the entire tent before heading to checkout. By doing this, your customers will see more product and will be more likely to purchase more.
Having price tags that are easy to read are a must. Your customers have to know how much the product costs before they decide to buy it. Consider having an image and description of the product in addition to the price on the tag. This will make it easy for your customers to know what the product does. It will also make it easier for your employees to explain the effects of each product. When you buy your products from Spirit of ‘76, we provide you will printable price tags! Click here to learn how to access the printable price tags.
Each section of your tent should be labeled with signs to help your customers find what they are looking for. This is a great way to add color and personality to your tent. Have each section of fireworks marked by category with a sign large enough to read from across your tent.
Cashier Area & Registers
A strong POS system is key for getting your customers through the checkout line quickly. In our own tent we use Clover, but there are other reputable POS systems at varying price points. With a POS system you can set up a royalty program for your customers.
This is one way to get your customers to come back to the tent. POS systems can also track which of your products are selling the best. This added feature can help you to purchase the best fireworks for the next season.
Having a well trained staff will help you sell more fireworks. Especially with seasonal staff it is difficult for them to know every product and its performance. A good place to start is having your staff know the difference between the different product categories such as 500 Gram Cakes, Missiles, Tubes, etc. After they know each category that you carry in your tent the next step is knowing what the products do. This is another time that your price tags descriptions may come in handy. Having the description of the firework’s performance on the price tag will help your employees become more knowledgeable of each product.
During downtime at the tent have your staff watch videos of the fireworks you have in stock. You can find the full catalog of videos here. Having a knowledgeable staff will help your tent run more smoothly.
Be sure to have plenty of staff able to work over the 4th of July holiday. It is also important to have an overnight person who stays to watch over the tent.
Where and how you place your products is very important. The first step is making sure that each product is within its own category. This makes it easier for your customers to find what they are looking for. Another strategy
Place impulse buys, such as novelties near the registers. While your customers are waiting in line they are more likely to pick up an extra item or two.
Make sure you know where the sun hits the inside of your tent. While most of your product will be covered there will be times the sun creeps in. Stay away from keeping your large assortments in this area. The heat from the direct sunlight will cause moisture within the package.
Want more advice? We asked seasoned retailers what mistakes they’ve made and lessons they’ve learned over the years - read the post here.