- Parent Category: Retail Tips
What to Sell and Keep in Stock in Your Retail Store
Tip #405 - Buy Best Sellers
Dear Tip of the Weeker,
This Tip may seem self-evident, but it's worth repeating. Think about how many times YOU have been shopping recently when a store was out of the best color or most popular size.
A shopping experience I had yesterday reminded me that I should follow up last week's Tip #404 - Get Fit And Trim (about ways to lower your inventory) with an important cautionary reminder...
NEVER RUN OUT OF BEST SELLERS.
When you don't have basic, best-selling items in stock, in sizes and colors, at times when customers want to buy them, it makes your customers mad.
They may not tell you they're mad - they'll just go online or to your competitor to find what they need. And the next time, they'll think twice about trying your store first.
Here's a situation that many retailers experience...
There's too much stock on-hand in items that are not selling which leads to a cash flow pinch (money is sitting on the selling floor, not in the bank account.) Compounding the problem, there's a ton of new stuff rolling in that was ordered at a trade show four months ago which has to be paid for. The cash flow pinch plus the looming bills causes you to stop re-orders.
Result: Too many "dogs" and new, experimental items on the floor and not enough basic best sellers.
End result: Lower sales, even less available cash, lower customer loyalty, and smaller profits.
Even if your stock levels are too high overall, always buy best sellers. By definition, these items are what your customers want, need, and (most importantly) BUY when they're in your store. Make sure you have them!
Here are 2 important questions to consider:
- Do you know exactly what your best sellers are - by dollar volume and by units - for each month of the year? Some items are best sellers only at certain times of the year (sandals in the spring, leaf rakes in the fall) and some items are year-round best sellers (white t-shirts, batteries, vanilla candles.)
- Do you know exactly how much of each to buy in order to fulfill your customer needs? This is, of course, an imperfect science, but if you've run out of kid's sandals in mid-March you've got a problem. Open to Buy planning is the solution!