What is a Grand Opening?

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  • Written By: Sheri Cyprus
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 16 December 2019
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A grand opening is the official opening to the public of a business or public office. It lets potential patrons and customers know that a new venture is opening in their area. Grand openings may include ribbon-cutting ceremonies, foods and drinks, prizes and discount prices on merchandise.

Grand openings are very important for a business as residents may not always notice a new store opening in their area. Promotions such as announcing the grand opening in the local paper and including discount coupons for customers to redeem at the store are common. The idea of promoting a grand opening is to get people into the business with the hope that they'll be long-time customers or patrons. Something like a coupon or contest may help entice people into attending the grand opening.

Franchises such as fast food chains keep expanding their stores and do usually have coupons and sometimes a draw for prizes as part of their grand openings. Many fast food coupons are buy one get one free (BOGO) and this concept usually brings two customers to the business rather than only one. Another type of business such as a furniture store may just announce a grand opening special and advertise discount deals in television, radio and/or print ads. The excitement created by the ads that offer great deals on furniture and/or appliances in a brand new store may interest residents into coming to the grand opening special just to see what is at the new furniture store.


Any size and type of store can have a grand opening. Even a small store can create an interest with balloons or signs. Free samples can be given away in the hopes that those that try them will like them and become regular customers. Some grand openings give away free hot dogs or other food as a way to help entice people to attend the event and this has worked for many years. Yet, it's all about attracting your target market during a grand opening. For examples, free hot dogs would probably be a good customer draw at a car dealership opening, but totally the wrong fare to offer at the grand opening of a health food store!

Some grand openings, such as a new public office, may feature a ribbon-cutting ceremony. Red ribbon or crepe paper is usually placed across the door and an official associated with the building cuts the ribbon with scissors while the crowd looks on. Grand openings can also make for good press. The local newspapers may feature a story or print a press release on a new business or office in the community as long as it’s somehow newsworthy and important to area residents.


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Post 2

I've only been to a few grand openings with ribbon cutting ceremonies. I often wonder where they get those huge grand opening scissors. I don't like attending most grand openings because of the crowds. I'll wait a day or two for the excitement to die down.

Post 1

It's been my experience in this area that most new stores have a soft opening several weeks before an official grand opening. There won't be any announcement of a soft opening. The store's door just open at the regular time and customers shop like usual. There may be a grand opening banner or sign waiting to go up, but it won't be a formal occasion yet.

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