Every retailer in the cannabis industry prepares for 4/20 with parties, sales and promotions. It has evolved into our own version of Black Friday. This year I called it Green Monday, combining a celebration of cannabis culture and the biggest retail day of the year.
At Pure Green, we celebrate five days of 4/20 with great sales and promos, in-store vendor hours and our annual raffle. We had to make quick decisions and work as a team in order to serve the most amount of patients we have ever seen. Fortunately, we will be able to use this experience to guide our company and navigate the changes necessary to compete in a recreational market.
We started planning our five days of 4/20 events in February. First, we reviewed our last year’s specials to see if any were worth reviving. We created a money-back special: spend $400 and get $20 back. This was available all five days after being a single-day special in 2014. Next, our management team created different daily specials for our main product lines including edible four-packs of mix-and-match products. Finally, our most popular special from last year was reused for the “holiday” itself — four grams of any strain for $20. These weekly and daily specials were designed to bring consumers in the doors.
Every patient who came into our store during the five days of 4/20 received a ticket to our annual raffle. Donations were collected from various vendors, a medical card clinic and a testing lab donated gift certificates while two local grow stores donated a $600 light and a nutrient basket that came with free genetic sex testing. Pure Green donated an edible and a dab basket, loyalty points and a gift certificate. We had more than 50 prizes including 30-plus mixed gift bags. Patients love our raffle. After all, who doesn’t love thousands and thousands of dollars of products given away for free?
In order to not bombard our followers on social media, we created a post schedule. In addition to the raffle and specials above, we extended our Sunday hours, sponsored a reggae concert with Don Carlos, and hosted vendors in the store on multiple days and our annual raffle. We had a total of eight posts highlighting the various promotions we offered. We created a complicated but effective schedule to get the word out about our promotions without saturating our social media outlets.
Our doors opened at 11 a.m. to a line of 20 people outside. Right away, we needed two people to help with our check-in process so I grabbed my laptop and made an impromptu desk. There are only two POS stations on our retail floor so we are limited to how many people we can send back at a time. We had three to four people on the retail floor at all times but they backed up at the registers. My husband and I were on the floor the entire time we were at the shop, which is a rarity these days. We saw 165 patients that day which is 60 more people than we have seen on our previous highest day. We keep calling this our slow rec day.
Every day I remind myself there are no problems; there are only opportunities to find solutions. We will use our slow rec day to inform our decisions about changes to our staffing and retail floor to support a true recreational market, not just a dry run. We need more registers, a more efficient use of space on our retail floor, including prepackaging our flower, and the creation of an express lane. Due to the amount of patients served, none of our regular side work was touched. We plan on creating processing shifts for rolling joints, gramming concentrates and prepacking our weed. Our floor staff will need to double, maybe triple. This is assuming we will be able to co-locate medical and recreational. If we can’t co-locate, then we need to decide between converting our existing store or opening a second location. Every day new solutions are offered to all of us in the cannabis industry, if you look at it right.