Well, the traditional Boxing Day sales are over. The January sales are over. The Australia Day rush has been and gone and we’re getting close to Valentine’s Day. And you still have pre-Christmas stock on your floors. What do you do with it?

  1. Keep it at the RRP, someone will come along who wants it
  2. Keep it at the Boxing Day Sale price, you have already discounted it enough

or

  1. Sell it at clearance, make room for new stock and get your shop looking fresh for 2013.

The answer may surprise you on this one, but it’s C.

Offbeat idea, isn’t it? Especially when there are so many retailers out there doing A & B. Almost immediately your hackles rose and you said “But I invested in that stock, there’s money in it.”

Then you say “Those shorts might be ok for next summer, I’ll put them in storage” 

Stop right there!

Sorry to disappoint, but there’s no money in it, anymore. Not if it’s fading, yellowed, the last of its kind or showing signs of a long shelf life. No, in fact, it might be costing you money.

It’s costing you space in your shop; it’s costing you customers who are on the lookout for “new, fresh, exciting”. It needs out.

Retail has to cater to people with the attention span of a goldfish. Unless you can prove that you are always up-to-the-minute, people won’t return.  It’s fast-paced, with online shopping making it faster.

And guess what? Stock from months ago in your shop is at odds with “latest & greatest”.

Competition is strong too, so why would people buy something old and somewhat out of fashion from you when they can buy the Next Big Thing next door?

If you have old stock, it’s time to clear it out if it’s:

  • Shopworn – dirty, dusty, faded or old-looking
  • Seasonal based – Christmas doesn’t come for another 11 months… free up your space and get rid of it now.
  • The last of its kind – it’s just annoying having it sitting around, isn’t it?!
  • Showroom items – used demo models for a line that’s lost its popularity or been outdated… give them away if you must!
  • Trend-pieces that have done their dash – don’t uglify your shop with these. As much as people loved them six months ago, they hate them now.
  • Over-specific accessories – Parts or add-ons for an item that was a bestseller a couple of years ago? Stop hanging on to the past – these have to go.

In a perfect world you would have bought just the right amount of merchandise for the season’s demands, but sometimes that doesn’t happen. There’s a little bit of logic involved with purchasing, which places like David Jones use: “If our sales increased 20% in the last season, we will buy 20% more merchandise than we did this time last year”. Use this principle to do your purchasing to avoid overstocking, which will only waste your space and money. 

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