Well, as it turns out it looks like I was correct about the beginning of the rush. 83% of our clubs saw the rush start about the third week of January whether they marketed or not. The ones that dropped their direct mail in the last week of December to hit mailboxes in the first week of January were generally disappointed with the results. The clubs that dropped in the second or third week were extremely happy overall.
A couple of side notes this year that seemed to be a little new. February overall seemed to be a much better month this year than the previous few years and the clubs that marketed this year got a better response than they did last year. The clubs that didn’t market saw more traffic this year than last which is a nice indicator for our industry.
They strange thing this year was that the surge seemed to be much shorter than in the past. Over the years we have seen the surge go through Jan. and Feb. and then a little of March. This year we saw the end of Jan., a great Feb., and then no March. So it seems that even though Feb. was a better month, for some reason it didn’t continue beyond that. Why was this window so short this year?