It may only be the beginning of autumn, but retailers always need to think one season ahead, especially when it comes to the holiday shopping season. While everyone else is still relaxing ahead of the holiday rush, retailers are already kicking things into overdrive. There’s so much to do before the holidays, including moving autumn inventory, decorating the shop, planning season promotions and organizing the store – on top of regular day-to-day tasks!
To gain some peace of mind and get ahead of the game, here are three things you can do now to gear up for the holidays:
1. Clear out stubborn merchandise
Not every product in your inventory will be a winner. It’s an unfortunate reality of the retail business. But rather than hoping those products will trickle out of your shop little by little, it’s a better idea to move them as fast as possible to make room for merchandise that you know will sell. That means it’s time to have a clearance sale. While the return on investment for a clearance sale isn’t great, it will improve your cash flow and free up space on your shelves.
Retail expert Bob Phibbs suggested this three step method for a clearance sale:
- Mark clearance items at 30 percent off their original prices and promote the sale on all of your social media feeds.
- Anything still left after one week should be marked down to 60 percent off.
- After another week, donate the remaining stock to charity and research new products with a better potential for high ROI.
2. Create an atmosphere that reflects the season
Remember that thrill you got as a child, walking into a toy store during the holidays? The shelves were stacked full of colorful, fun objects and you probably begged your parents to purchase that one special item. Try to recapture that feeling in your own store. The Store Starters reported that decorations are a solid investment because they attract customers and create a sense of excitement that leads to more purchases. Create a magical mood with some display lighting, hanging paper decorations and creative window displays using expressive mannequins to highlight your products.
3. Get organized
Chances are that you’ll have more inventory than usual during the holiday season. Are you utilizing your floor space to its full potential? Take some measurements of your space and shelves, then give our retail experts a call for personalized help on how to utilize every inch of your shop. You might be surprised at how much display hooks or more efficient shelving can optimize your space.
These three steps will jumpstart your holiday season and get you prepared for the busy weeks to come.