Lori and Matt Robertson, owners of Elliot Row on Main Street in Penticton, said an active social media presence is one way they keep customers coming in during the slow season. Jordyn Thomson/Western News

Penticton businesses look to stay busy during slow season

Visibility, online presence noted as key to keep customers coming in

Many Penticton business owners agree that January and February are often the slowest months of the year, as they see a lull after Christmas shopping and before the bustling tourist season.

While some are opting to take that much-needed vacation, other store owners have begun to focus their efforts on keeping busy during this slow season and embracing new ways to bring customers through their doors. The key to this endeavour is being visible to the consumer.

“Traditionally this is the slow time of year, and that doesn’t make it right. What it does mean is that’s something we have to work on in this town,” said Daryl Clarke with the Penticton & Wine Country Chamber of Commerce. “One of the things we have to do is realize that a business will not succeed on just tourist traffic. Your business is going to succeed when the people of Penticton back it year round and keep buying from it and utilizing it.”

Related: New bakery to offer influences of Europe

As a Chamber initiative to promote shopping locally, Clarke is touring Penticton’s businesses one store at a time for the #PentictonFirst campaign, where he will have a T-shirt signed by employees and he posts about each stop on Facebook. He said his experience with each place so far has been great, noting that it’s been a great learning opportunity to see what Penticton truly has to offer.

“I’ve had people say to me, for example, that they didn’t know about the shoe repair in the Cannery Trade Centre. It’s encouraging people to just walk through the door and have questions about what people do in this town,” said Clarke.

“It’s kind of like taking a vacation in your own town, you have to walk around and go to places and see them.”

Lynn Allin, the executive director of the Downtown Penticton Association, said she’s seen members of the association employ creative strategies to put their brand out there.

Related: Cannabis stores allowed in downtown Penticton

“Many of our shop owners and businesses in general are developing like a really strong social media campaign,” said Allin. “And when you speak to some of these businesses that have really taken this on, their sales are great year-round.”

This is true for the men’s and women’s clothing store Elliot Row on Main Street. According to co-owner Matt Robertson, the process of keeping their social media and other online presences active is lengthy, but they always see a payoff to this strategy.

“In the clothing industry, online is so aggressive. It’s hard to say you’re going to go up against the (big box stores), you’re not trying to get that volume of sales,” said Robertson. “But what our customers want is they use our online store, especially in colder weather, to see what’s going on, what’s new. Social media like Instagram is huge for us – we have people direct messaging us if we make a post (saying to) hold something so they can come get it.”

Robertson said February is still “by far their slowest month” but he and co-owner Lori Robertson were able to use that to their advantage to book a business trip to get more inventory for the store. They also plan to take their holidays during this slower season as well.

Sylvia Petrasekova, of Petrasek Bakery on Main Street, said they’ve seen business increase substantially in just one week thanks to the help of a small sandwich sign outside their front door.

“Last week at 5 p.m. our store was empty, and now this week we have seen so many more customers coming in until close,” said Petrasekova.

Their bakery opened November 2018 but has already seen a steady increase in customers, thanks in part to their active Facebook page. Petrasekova said she believes signage and making your business visible to passersby is critical in keeping busy.

To report a typo, email: editor@pentictonwesternnews.com.

Jordyn Thomson | Reporter
JordynThomson 
Send Jordyn Thomson an email.
Like the Western News on Facebook.
Follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

New shuttle service to and from Penticton River Channel

Company launches this Friday and offers services within city limits

I’m Just Saying: What’s the hold up with pot shops in Penticton?

Jordyn Thomson is a reporter with the Penticton Western News

Holi: Festival of Colours celebrated in the South Okanagan

Kismet Estate Winery, in Oliver, celebrated Holi with their guests last weekend

B.C. premier says Greyhound replacement news could come shortly

Province is working with the private sector to find a solution, says premier

Okanagan-Shuswap weather: mix of sun and clouds

Environment Canada is calling for a chance of rain and risk of thunderstorms across the Okanagan tonight

VIDEO: Tributes flow on 10th anniversary of Michael Jackson’s death

Jackson received a fatal dose of the anesthetic propofol on June 25, 2009. He died at age 50

VIDEO: Killer whale steals fisherman’s catch off North Coast

Fishing duel results in eager orca snagging salmon in Prince Rupert

Big changes to food services at UBC Okanagan

Healthy, high-quality food on the menu as UBCO staffs up for in-house operations

Tolko donation helps build new Okanagan daycare

The Early Years Daycare Centre is scheduled to open at the end of summer 2019

COSAR rescues hiker from Okanagan Mountain Park

The woman hurt her ankle and was unable to walk out without the help of the team

40 cats surrendered in apparent hoarding at B.C. home

Officers found the cats living among piles of garbage and feces, suffering from fleas

UPDATE: RCMP expect Highway 1 closure west of Salmon Arm to be lengthy

Police collision analysis and reconstruction investigating accident scene

Vancouver Aquarium drops cetacean ban lawsuit in new lease agreement

Ocean Wise CEO Lasse Gustavsson called the updated lease an exciting new chapter for the aquarium

Okanagan RCMP bike patrol rolls up on alleged stolen vehicle from Burnaby

The driver, a 30-year-old Kelowna man, has been held in custody and is facing possible charges of possession of stolen property and obstructing a police officer

Most Read