Signs can be one of the most effective marketing tools you can use when conducting a Store Closing Sale.

Exterior Signs: The use of professional looking signs used on the exterior of the store should shout that you are closing your store. They should “shout” that message loud and clear. The types of signs most often used are: banners, window signs, A-frame or sidewalk signs, yard signs, and “sign walker” signs.

I recommend that you put the signs up a couple of days prior to the start of the sale. They act as a billboard to announce the coming event. Exterior signs, even though temporary, are often regulated by city sign ordinances. Each city has its own rules and fees. You are probably well aware of them if you have been in business for any length of time. When it comes to dealing with the city or in some cases your landlord, I’m a firm believer that it is a lot easier to ask for forgiveness after the fact than it is to get permission before putting up your signs.

Banners: You should use as large of banner as possible and in most cases hang that banner in the highest and most visible location on your building. Use colors that stand-out and are easy to read. A professional sign maker can provide guidance on which color combinations work best. I tend to use yellow/black, red/white, red/yellow or purple/gold combinations because many times these are available off the shelf or are colors that the sign makers carry in stock.

Window Signs: Window signs should also be as large as possible. They should provide information on the reason for the sale if possible – “Sale”, “Store Closing”, “Going-out-of-Business”. “Moving Sale”, “Retirement Sale”, “Everything Must Go” are all messages that can be used in your windows.

A-Frame/Sidewalk Signs: Many of you have these type sign holders that you take out each day and bring back in at the close of business. It is often possible to change the message periodically.

Yard Signs: Yard signs announcing the sale can be used at entrances to your parking lot or along access streets to your location. You want to announce your sale to as many people driving or walking by as possible. It is important that these signs be weather resistant.

Sign Walker Signs: The use of sign walker signs seems to be increasing. These signs are held by individuals, are bright and easy to read and are only there during high traffic count periods. I caution you that you need to be particular about who is holding your signs and promoting your sale. Often times these sign holders are in costume to attract attention and make the sign more noticeable.

You should attempt to make sure that all of your exterior signs are coordinated and look professional. Good use of exterior signs can improve your customer traffic by 15% or more.

There are many effective Store Closing sign kits available from retail sales promotion supplies/fixture companies. Many times I use these kits along with a few custom made signs to make sure that the exterior signs are communicating a strong marketing message that drives customers into the sale.