At Joplin 44 Petro in Joplin, Missouri, it is the Christmas lights on the inside of the store that have everyone talking. Store manager Chris Quattlebaum has transformed the location’s light wall into an engaging light show that times the flashing lights with the beats in a handful of Christmas songs.
“We’re just using everything that goes on a truck to make our show,” he said, adding that he has it programmed to run six times a day but customers love it so much that he usually ends up running it more.
“Every time someone hears it, they stop and watch and more and more people gather around, so we sometimes have to turn it on again,” he said, adding that some people are disappointed if they come in and it isn’t on. “I had people come in yesterday and ask if we could start it up.”
Quattlebaum said it is fun to get that type of feedback from the customers. “It is pretty cool. I just wanted to do something that you probably don’t see a lot of in our industry. I thought it would be fun to see if I could make my light wall dance.”
Quattlebaum said the light show can change the entire atmosphere of the store. “We see families dancing in front of it,” he said. “Every time it plays there is at least one customer with their phone out. They’re filming it and posting it and that is the best advertising in the world.”
The show also got coverage on the local media. The enthusiasm it has created can help boost sales, not just from getting people in the store, but from making them happy while inside. “When you’re shopping retail, are you more likely to buy when you’re in a good mood or a bad mood? It gets people in the Christmas spirit,” he said.
The location has also become a destination stop for tour buses with tour companies even promoting the stop. “I’ll turn the light wall on for them to let them watch a couple of shows. You know you’re doing something kind of right when they start doing that. That is it was about,” Quattlebaum said.
Creating the light show was time consuming. It uses the same software to program the show that the Bellagio in Las Vegas uses to program its fountain show. Quattlebaum initially launched a show last Christmas and ran it for two weeks. Since then, he has been adding to it and tinkering with it throughout the year, sometimes from home. “It was worth it in the end,” he said.
But, he doesn’t just save his skills for Christmas. “I have some patriotic music we do during the Fourth of July and some things we do for Halloween,” he said.
Quattlebaum said the time he has put into it was well spent.
View the local TV coverage here.
Photo Courtesy of Joplin 44 Petro
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