Too much inventory can clog your cash flow. For most of you, your inventory at the start of the year should be at rock bottom. But if you’re sitting on too much inventory, you’re probably not alone. Here are three ways to get your stock levels under control.
Trim or Cancel Orders
No one really likes to call their vendors and cancel orders. But if you’re overstocked, you shouldn’t be bringing in huge amounts of new merchandise. You must trim or cancel orders to manage your inventory levels. That’s part of doing business.
Your first obligation is to run your business in a fiscally sound and responsible manner. If you buy more than you can sell in a reasonable time frame, you’re doing your business a disservice. Of course you don’t want to constantly cancel orders. This is where an "Open To Buy" plan is important (See last week’s Open to Buy article).
You can minimize them but you can’t eliminate them. Taking markdowns is just a fact of life in retail. If you perfect your Open To Buy process, your markdowns will undoubtedly decrease and their impact on your business will also diminish.
Remember that holding on to excess inventory and hoping it will eventually sell at full price just doesn’t work. Turn it into cash quick and reinvest in better or more current merchandise that you can sell at full margin.
I’ll have an article later this week on ideas for taking effective markdowns.
One option many people neglect to think about when they need to reduce inventory levels is increasing sales. This can be the best way to get back to your ideal stock levels, although this is usually a more labor intense, long term approach to the problem.
Marketing is the engine that drives sales increases. So turn up your marketing efforts to increase your sales.
You want your store to be a go-to vital part of the community – not a museum full of "old stuff" that hasn’t sold.
Ask your CCS Sales Consultant to help you plan your Inventory Level Management. Contact us at CCS Sales.