Everyone in retail knows that the period between Thanksgiving and Christmas can become quite chaotic, yet few have truly mastered the art of preparing for the holiday rush. Here are some tips to help your small business get organized for the season.
The Right Merchandise
You’ll want most of your inventory at this time of year to be your best sellers and perennial favorites. In particular, look to your top sellers in the fall months to determine what you need to stock up on for the holiday season. Hopefully, you used Black Friday to start getting rid of any unpopular items, perhaps by offering great discounts on them. This allows for more shelf space for those items with bigger profit margins.
Even though your focus should be on big sellers that will fly off your shelves, it’s also a wise strategy to stock up on a couple of unique items people won’t be able to find anywhere else. This can draw in new customers and create some surprise big sellers in the process.
Planning Your Purchasing
Ask vendors for the delivery dates for every product you plan to sell over the holidays and how much you can receive. It’s important to communicate your holiday inventory requirements well in advance, and it’s also a good idea to find out about substitute items you can get should something you need become unavailable.
Gift cards can have a significant effect on your inventory. Two thirds of all the gifts purchased last year were gift cards, and most of them were for accessories, clothes and shoes. Most retailers offering gift cards hope they’ll be used to buy full-margin sales merchandise rather than clearance goods, and this is where careful inventory planning can help quite a bit by reducing the items that will be marked down in January.
Learn how to improve your inventory management.