Clear the Clutter for Christmas

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It’s that time again. Christmas shopping is upon us. There are shelves to restock, stands to fix, isles to clean, fixtures to reposition, and so much to do in order to be ready for the upcoming waves of shoppers. And the hard question: what about the surplus products from last month?

Don’t let last season’s leftovers get you down. Retail expert Bob Phibbs has some ideas for how to keep your store uncluttered this season. Read the full article here.

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Think culling your SKUs, not choosing more SKUs

Too much choice overwhelms a customer’s mind and it shuts down. If you’re trying to improve conversion rates – and who isn’t, much like a writer, you need to edit.

Start with the easy things. Plan for a fall sale so you can move out these customer distractions.

Here’s how to begin:

  • Take a look at your inventory categories’ sales figures by month and year-to-date.
  • Within each category, look at your bottom 20% – the ones not moving
  • Pull all orders to replenish and put on your desk.

Once you’ve done those three things, scour your merchandise to find:

The clones. A lot of times we order items at a trade show because we think they are so cool. What we may not realize, unless we have photographed every item in our store and categorized it accordingly, is that we already have something similar.

The orphans. It’s great to have a must-have toy, accessory or tool – until you sell all but the last one. Before re-ordering, critically look and see if the market has moved on. Then slash the price of the last one – even if you sold a ton of them at full price.

The misfits. Got a demo product or one that was opened but a piece was missing? Sure, you could go and order the part so you can sell it whole, or you could put it on your sale table with a sign that says missing a part.  You could even be generous and print out how to get the missing part from the manufacturer.

The returns. Didn’t get that otherwise perfectly fine item returned to the vendor on time for credit? No worries, even without the cellophane or in a ripped box, slap a price on it and get it to the bargain table. You have nothing to lose here.

The dogs.  Sitting on complete lines that you ordered in the wrong color? Competitor blew them out at a low price? Who cares? Now’s the time to make them sound like gold and strike their price. If you have to, clean up the boxes, polish the chrome or do whatever it takes to make them look new again. Put up a sign that says, Special Purchase 60% off and move them out.

In Sum
Preparing for the holidays is a fun time as your customer traffic increases. Use these next two months to put your best face on your store with lower SKUs and higher sales because you edited your selection of merchandise.