As we get our stores ready for holiday shoppers, the most important thing you can do is to highlight the merchandise that has slowed or stopped selling. So, now is the time to evaluate your inventory.
The first indicator of inventory imbalance would be from your open to buy system. Since it’s based on anticipated sales and desired turn rates, it sets up ideal beginning inventories for each department for each month. Comparing your ideal projected inventory with your actual current inventory will reveal which departments are over stocked. Of course, if you had been using an open to buy you wouldn’t be in this situation.
Once you see which departments are over stocked, you need to find the older merchandise and make the prices more attractive, put it on display and bring it front and center. There are many ways to push merchandise and this is not a tutorial on that, but you put on your thinking cap and find a way to encourage your sales personnel to put their best efforts into moving the older merchandise. If you do that, you will go into January with a clean inventory and cash in the bank rather than an excess of markdowns and invoices.
Not only will your open to buy point out your inventory imbalance, it will show you whether you’re over or under bought for the balance of the fall, winter and spring seasons. Your open to buy system will give you so much valuable information to help you properly merchandise your store and make money.
And isn’t that why you do all this?