As seasons come and go, so do products and trends. Every store must work to clear out merchandise that’s no longer relevant or popular to make room for new products.
In anticipation of sweet, sweet summer, you’re likely thinking about spring items that you’d like to see gone. One of the best ways to free up space on your store fixtures during May is through a clearance sale. Consider these benefits to product markdowns and a few strategies that will ensure your success.
Why should you markdown seasonal merchandise?
When you look at your bottom line based on how much profit each purchase yields, holding a clearance sale might seem like a bad idea. However, you’ll lose even more money on inventory if you don’t sell it at all. Items that sit in the backroom for eternity are considered a complete loss. On the other hand, you can earn at least a fraction of the cost back through a seasonal sale.
“Price is the driving force behind most purchases.”
At this point, you should remove any winter merchandise that’s lingering in your sale section. If it’s not too trend-specific and it sold decently well throughout the season, it might be wise to save the items for next year. However, holding on to products that didn’t sell after markdowns can be a slippery slope. You don’t want to end up with shelves that are brimming with unwanted merchandise rather than boxes full of fresh items in the backroom.
It’s best to put items on sale while they’re still in customers’ minds. That’s why it’s time for a spring clearance sale, although summer hasn’t officially arrived. Shoppers may still be perusing the racks for spring attire, meaning they’re more likely to gobble up your remaining inventory.
How can you draw customers in?
Let’s face it – price is the driving force behind most purchases. As a result, it’s essential that you highlight how much money customers can save at your clearance sale. Make sure you have bold and attractive signage near the sale section. Start with a 50 percent decrease in sales price, then continue marking merchandise down to liquidate that inventory.
One effective tactic that helps encourage consumers to spend money on your sale is a “first come, first served” mentality. Market the clearance event as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Appeal to the aspect of human nature that makes people fear missing out on great deals, fun gatherings or exciting social activities. If it seems like the fabulous marked-down goods are going, going, gone, shoppers are more likely to scoop up the deals.
Don’t forget to promote your spring clearance event online. If you have a digital store, mark items that are on sale in a separate tab. If you don’t sell products online, you can still use your store’s website to spread the word. This is also the perfect time to use social media platforms. Instagram a picture of a tidy clearance section, tweet about the amazing discounts that await shoppers at your store and post to the business’s Facebook page. Email campaigns can go a long way for seasonal sales as well. Send an email blast to your existing customers base so people who enjoy your product selection will come back for the deals.
You can increase foot traffic and sales if you host a store-wide event. Once people are in the front door, they won’t be able to resist browsing your discounted merchandise. When the weather is nice, consider displaying your clearance section outside the store. With a few clothing racks on the sidewalk out front – as well as enticing signs that announce low prices – passersby will be drawn into your shop. Additionally, your employees should be prepared to talk this clearance event up. Make sure they’re focused on shedding the extra inventory, whether they direct customers to the sale section or mention the deep discounts on certain products. Finally, attract shoppers with novelty: clearance grab bags. It’s exciting to buy a mystery selection of items from a store you love, so patrons are bound to bite.