FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – January 25, 2018
For more information:
Ann Campos, event organizer/owner
815-742-4498 – firstname.lastname@example.org
5th ANNUAL VINTAGE SHOP HOP SCHEDULED – SMALL BUSINESS IS EXCITED
Shoppers will converge on northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin for the 5th Annual Vintage Shop Hop on Friday and Saturday, March 2 & 3, 2018. Over 400 locally owned vintage shops, antique malls, boutiques, occasional and pop-up shops, barn sales and restaurants in two states are rolling out the red carpet for customers with discounts, giveaways, raffle drawings, demos, ideas on re-purposing old items, and more. The shop hop is a self-guided road trip for vintage and antique lovers in the region. “The idea was simply to give the shopper a reason to call their friends and spend the day shopping for vintage decor in their own backyard,” says event organizer Ann Campos. “I wanted to make it easy for them to hop from shop to shop while supporting small business at the same time,” she said. She describes the event as a road trip on steroids and goes on to say that the hardest part for shoppers is deciding on which area to travel to for their road trip fun.
In its fifth year, the Vintage Shop Hop has grown from 180 shops the first year to 388 in 2017. Campos says they are on target to top those numbers this year. “Winter is always a slow time for gift related retail shops. These small business owners sometimes need a shot in the arm to boost their sales and give shoppers a reason to leave the house”, Campos says. The event idea came to Campos four years ago after talking with a handful of her friends who owned vintage shops and had experienced slow sales during the then harsh winter. “I produce two large vintage markets each year and have met many vintage shop owners during my travels. I really wanted to use my tourism, event planning and marketing skills to come up with a way to reach out and do something for them” she said, “and so the Vintage Shop Hop was born.” Social media plays a huge role in the rapid growth of the event for both shoppers and shops participating in the event. The facebook page was launched during the first year and has grown to almost 21,000 followers. “I think the event grew so fast because these small business owners were looking for a fun, low cost way to promote not only their shop but their town too, and the shoppers were excited to have the information on hundreds of shops dropped in their lap” Campos said. The event stretches across two states from the Mississippi River on the west to Lake Michigan on the east, goes north to the Stevens Point and lakes region in Wisconsin and south to approximately I-88 in Illinois.
Each shop is required to have an “in store” promotion for the weekend, and many shops go beyond just complimentary coffee and cookies. Some have designed a map with the other participating area shops indicated. Shoppers will find “pop a balloon” or “spin the wheel” promotions to determine their discounts. There are paint demos, floral design demos, and free gifts just for stopping in. Others have created punch cards or round robin promotions to get people moving around their area. All are ready and waiting to greet new faces to their businesses and provide the shoppers with the best in customer service. The idea is to get shoppers to not only hit the road for this event for the glorious vintage shopping, but also to experience the variety of shop locations and settings. Many of the shops are set in historic buildings, in downtowns and villages brimming with history. Hen Picked Antiques in Hartford, Wisconsin has a beautiful shop located in an 1853 renovated church. Vintage Pickin’s in Edgerton, Wisconsin is tucked inside the renovated tobacco barn on their property. Shoppers can take a load off at City Service Brewing in Darlington, Wisconsin, a fun brewhouse and shop inside a 1930’s gas station, complete with gas pumps outside. Two Sisters with Junk in the Truck is a sister team based out of a huge barn in Marengo, Illinois. “These shop owners are very passionate about the history of their antiques as well as their buildings. In order to compete with the big box stores, small business owners have to be creative in their marketing efforts and work extra hard to get noticed,” Campos said. “I’m just glad I can help them out by using my experience to bring customers to their door step.”
An interactive Google Map includes all of the shops with detail information that can be accessed on mobile devices while shoppers are traveling the area. The public is invited to create their own self-guided road trip for the shop hop weekend. All 400+ shops and link to the Google Map are listed on the event’s blog page and can be printed off www.vintageshophop.blogspot.comor follow the facebook page at www.facebook.com/VintageShopHopEvent. The Google Map can be linked to here: https://www.google.com/maps/d/edit?hl=en&mid=1ovm7IvtVMWN0TGdox46iDNqtHZHQZbd5&ll=43.22722499165491%2C-85.23101656692467&z=7
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