Some call it the Jewish Halloween, some call it a drinking Thanksgiving… no matter what you call Purim, it’s a joyous Jewish holiday that is usually misunderstood by many but beneficial to those that understand it! Purim got some extra recognition in the Christopher Guest film, “For Your Consideration“, that featured a mock Academy Award film “Home For Purim”, but to the Jewish community, Purim is far from a sit-down, buttoned-up restricting holiday. The “letting the hair down” theme that Purim is known for means that the usual stringencies and requirements aren’t in play so the Jewish community is willing to go to great lengths to increase fun and uniqueness for their meals, gifts, and costumes.
Of course, you’ve probably caught The Daily Show’s reporting on Purim and the infamous Dov Hikind “blackface” costume but don’t let that influence the beauty of the holiday (just let it influence your funny bone!):
Purim goes deeper than just booze and costumes! Essentially, Purim is a celebration of how the Jews overcame annihilation at the hands of Persian leaders (ironically similar to the current tension between Israel and Iran). Like most Jewish holidays, we celebrate by dressing in costumes (symbolic of the “hidden” nature of God’s presence during the ancient story), reading the ancient story from the Megillah (the Book of Esther), eating a sumptuous dinner with oodles of food, distributing lavish gifts to neighbors called shalach manos, and giving donations to the needy.
Wine, Food, Wine, Gifts, Wine – The most dominant products featured on Purim is wine & liquor. Obviously, if you’re a liquor store or wine seller, this is the time to stock up on kosher wines. Between Purim and Passover, the months of February, March, and April will be a boon for your post-Christmas and New Years sales. Aside from large bottles of wine for meals, snatch up those mini-bottles of Vodka, scotch, and wine for Jewish customers to package into shalach manos, the food packages shared among neighbors. You may even want to invest in prepackaged gift bags complete with kosher goodies with your liquor offerings so you can be a one-stop shop.
It goes without saying that candy stores and bakeries will see a major uptick in sales during Purim. Packing dozens of bags with candy, cookies, chips, and hamentashen is part of the Purim experience so sell paper goods right next to your sweets.
Costumes and Authentic Clothing – dressing in costumes is the outward distinction that Purim is upon us! If you’re a Party City or Halloween costume store, don’t overlook this holiday. But aside from costumes shops, small apparel shops that have ethnic or unique clothing can benefit as well. As we wrote in The Jewish Press (Highlighting Your Family Purim Party), going authentic on costumes is becoming a popular trend. Why go to Ricky’s for an Oriental costume when you can pick up an entire costume and more in Chinatown for half the price? If you specialize in Indian, Chinese, Japanese, Mexican, Spanish, and any other ethnic clothing, try reaching the Jewish market for authentic costumes. Be prepared to outfit them with an entire theme as well, not just clothes…
Spring Cleaning Time – Purim may be the fun holiday, but Passover is the spring-cleaning holiday! Only three short weeks after Purim, Passover requires an absolutely spotless home so Jewish families need to jumpstart their cleaning engines right after Purim. Cleaning agents, carpet cleaners, and any household services should start promoting themselves right after or even during Purim. Clearing the house of the dozens of candies and cookies that come in during Purim is enough to make any mother cringe, so cleaning services will be noticed. It’s like promoting gym memberships right after New Year’s… everyone wants and need s to burn the weight so they’ll notice the gym ad! Same idea here.
Purim may be a one-day celebration but any holiday that focuses on joy with limited restrictions means potential for high spending on anything fun and joyful! Position yourself to benefit from Purim because Passover is right around the corner…
Henry Isaacs Marketing | Isaac Hyman, Founder