There is much planning when it comes to preparing for the holiday season in the retail industry. There are so many factors that can make or break the sales goals, like merchandising and ensuring the sales associates are pushing sales. But, the one factor I believe is most important is planning to have the correct amount of units on hand.
I spent the months leading up to December looking at last year’s sales for every single holiday-related product we had and used those numbers to plan for this year. For example, I would see a product sold eight units a day, for five days in a row, and then in the middle of the week it would drop down to zero. This told me that it was a best seller and it sold out fairly quickly and this year we needed to have more units on hand. Well, sometimes sales just aren’t what you predict and there is left over inventory. This is the case for a few of our holiday products, such as holiday print mugs, bears with holiday sweaters, and ornaments.
What do you do with spare units of holiday products?!
This is the question I have been working diligently to solve. The solution, I have found, is to think like a consumer. There are many people who wait after the holidays to purchase products because they know they can save money since the products are almost always marked down. So the first thing done is to mark down the products a decent 30%. The next thing is to merchandise the products properly by placing them on the floor near all-season products and also in the clearance section. This provides two places for the customer to see the product. I thought it important to place the products in the clearance section because many people wait until after the holidays to purchase products because the price decreases. After observing this tactic for a week, I have found it is effective, not exponentially, but people are buying the products and hopefully we wont have these holiday products for much longer.