Grand openings are an important part of the micro market process for Portland, OR-based Royal Vending. The company works with locations in advance to begin to build anticipation through signage and opening-day incentives. In doing so, Royal Vending sees 90 percent account usage around the micro market grand openings.
Work with the location
To garner as much excitement around the micro market grand opening as possible, Ryan Harrington, president of Royal Vending, recommends educating the employees about the micro market before the opening day. If there is an all-employee meeting prior to the opening, Harrington will ask to attend in order to explain the concept to the employees and show pictures.
About 30 days before the launch, he will work with the location to place signage around the workplace as well. “The best thing you can do is work with the location and build anticipation through signage,” said Harrington. “We’ve had experiences in the past where we did just a cold launch and we didn’t have as many people show up to the grand opening as when we really build the date.” Setting a date and placing it on the signage will remind people about the event and create anticipation, says Harrington. 365 Retail Markets does provide signage that Harrington can use at each location, but he recommends getting the client's marketing team on board as well. “We recently had a really successful grand opening because the location’s marketing team put together some great literature for its employees about the new breakroom revamp.”
Before the launch
Royal Vending mandates that all locations provide an employee list prior to the grand opening so that when the customers enter the breakroom on the day of the launch, their names are already loaded into the system. “This alleviates long lines and the need for everyone to enter their information,” said Harrington. “It’s easy for us because we send the employee lists to 365 Retail Markets who uploads them for us. That gives us time to focus on other aspects of the grand opening.” Upon adding the employee names into the user account system, Royal Vending will also give each customer a $2 incentive towards their first purchase. “It’s an investment,” said Harrington. “It gets them to make a purchase from the kiosk and learn how easy the system is to use.”
Generally, Royal Vending will open each market on a Monday and schedule the grand opening for the following Wednesday, which allows them to work out any problems that might arise.
Off with a bang
On the day of the grand opening, Royal Vending’s driver generally arrives around 7 a.m. to merchandise and make any last-minute adjustments. Harrington arrives around 9:30 a.m. for the 10 a.m. grand opening. “I still go to each grand opening and make sure that I have another employee with me as well to help answer questions and show how the kiosk works,” he said. If enough anticipation is built before the launch, people will begin arriving as soon as the grand opening begins. “Usually sales on the grand opening day are soft,” explains Harrington. “This is due to the fact that people are just getting used to the system, but after a few days sales will double. People just want to know how it works first.” Royal Vending sees account usage around 90 percent post-grand opening, but the company determines the success of a grand opening by analyzing the usage after a few weeks. “If we can get to 60 percent account usage normally, we know we did a good job introducing the concept,” Harrington concluded.