Is the Best Approach for Retailers Soft or Grand Opening?

The decision to conduct a silent versus grand opening any retail outlet is driven by internal operational and marketing goals. A silent opening gives the staff an opportunity to work the bugs out of the system before a full flow of foot traffic is established. However, it can also minimize initial sales, as well as media coverage associated with a grand opening. More often than not, it is ideal to conduct both a quiet opening and a grand opening, typically within a few days or a week of each other.

A grand opening sets the stage to generate media coverage and build store traffic that will establish initial sales and traffic patterns for customers. And while it is a bad idea to open any retail outlet without some initial prep for the sales team, this can be done over a few days beginning with an invitation-only pre-opening event for friends and family (and media), followed by a day or two of unannounced open hours, followed by the official grand opening in the late afternoon, followed by the first full day of operations as usual.

Jennifer Manocchio


After starting her career with Edelman in Chicago, Jennifer joined Sweeney and quickly established herself as an exceptional industry innovator. In 2004, she opened Sweeney’s first full-service office outside of Cleveland and quickly rose through the ranks to become agency president. Jen leads by example and without fear. She has been critical to agency growth throughout the past decade and continues to lead the agency into the future.