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Plan now for winter inventory clear-outs

Plan now for winter inventory clear-outs

If you’ve stepped outside to another round of the polar vortex, it might feel like spring is never going to arrive. Even the most persistent chill won’t keep warmer weather away forever, though, and it’s not too soon to start thinking about clearing out your winter inventory.

Follow these four steps to effectively and efficiently prepare your store for spring:

1. Double-check current inventory
With any luck, you already keep a running list of the exact items in your store – both in terms of merchandise and store fixtures. However, it never hurts to double-check between seasons to make sure that your inventory is accurate. Instead of working from your current list, start a completely new chart.

Take a few hours to go through each section of your store and make note of what you have. It might be easiest to do this as a two-part process – starting with fixtures, then moving on to merchandise. If you have a particularly large inventory, it could be beneficial to have a few extra hands at work, and offering staff a bit of overtime might cost more in the short-term but will save you money at the end of the day.

As you work, be sure to make note of any store fixtures that are damaged or starting to show wear. This will be important as you move onto step two. After you’ve finished your inventory, compare it with any prior list to see if there are discrepancies.

2. Repair and refresh
Reviewing your itemized inventory, focus on the store fixture list, particularly any pieces that were getting old. If you want to keep your space looking fresh, it’s important to update worn or damaged furnishings. Even small dents and scratches can make your space look less professional and sophisticated than one that is spot-free.

3. Consider a new theme
The need to purchase new shop fixtures is the perfect opportunity to switch up your decorating style or give store displays an update. Say you’ve focused on all wood furnishings up until now. Why not mix it up with a few metal pieces as well, or incorporate specific collection items, such as boutique fixtures? You might also realize that your interior is monochromatic or lacking in visual diversity. While this can be a theme in and of itself, a little burst of color can automatically amp up your shop’s appeal. Consider implementing a new hue with paint, decals or a C3 Custom Color item, such as a mannequin.

4. Optimize for sales
Having a complete inventory will help you recognize what merchandise will be your highest priority during clear-out sales. If you have a significant number of leftover items that have a shorter retail lifespan due to their seasonal association or that are losing trendiness, you’ll probably want to focus on promoting them with particular vigor.

Target your marketing by selecting signs and posters that will draw customers’ attention to this merchandise. You can opt for a variety of choices, including standing items as well as wall-hanging options. Another way to get patrons paying attention is to move items into a location with high physical and visual traffic.

Take advantage of display tables right at the entryway, so that customers can’t miss high-priority merchandise, and make it clear with the appropriate signs and tagging what kind of deals they can expect. You can also make a statement by moving attention-grabbing items such as mannequins and jersey form models, or even custom lighting, around this area. These are sure to get patrons looking in the right direction and more likely to check out what you have for sale.