When you first leased your store, you were probably planning for success and then additional growth. Let’s hope it happened that way, but more often than not, reality falls short of expectations.

In preparation for opening, you probably filled your store with great merchandise to insure that all of your customers found what they wanted. Once you were rolling, you probably were surprised with all the excess invoices you had for unsold merchandise. So, now what do you do?

You need to buy to support sales rather than to fill space. Since you want your store to look filled to the brim with great merchandise, perhaps you need to make your store smaller. A false wall can do wonders in terms of decreasing your space and making your store look full.

Doing more and larger displays is also a way to eat up space. Customers buy with their eyes and the more visual suggestions you offer, the greater the likelihood of making sales.

Think about your own experience when you go shopping. Do you really want to be overwhelmed with so much merchandise that it’s almost impossible to make a decision or would you rather be guided to the right decision from a more reasonable selection? Too much stock also decreases any urgency to make a purchase.

You want your customers to feel that if they don’t buy it now, it will probably not be there when they come back. That’s what turnover is all about. And you make money by turning your inventory, not by keeping it around.

Once you determine (realistically) how much you plan to sell and the rate you want to turn over your inventory, an open to buy plan will tell you how much inventory you need to carry. From there you can figure how much space you actually need.

So, buy to support sales, not to fill space. You’ll keep your customers satisfied, turn over your invested dollars and take home a tidy profit each month.

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