Five Steps to Move End of Life Inventory During the Holidays

by Matt Rudolph

Having too much inventory to start off the new year is pretty high up on the list of no-nos for retailers. We all know that inventory items have a limited life cycle. Towards the end of that cycle, the sales value of a product decreases and the profitability and inventory yield are not maximized. Surplus stock ties up capital and can keep you from re-investing in your business or buying things you actually need. It can be a huge problem, but why not avoid it? There are several steps you can take to liquidate end of life inventory during the holiday season when stores see peak foot traffic.

Remarket and refresh products. When an item just isn’t flying off the shelf anymore, the problem may lie in how it’s being positioned or marketed. You can start by repositioning the product in a different area of the store or redo its shelf arrangements. Mix it up further with new, brightly-colored signage and new price tags. You can also do a digital refresh with new product photos and new content that highlights the uses and features of the product. The other half of the product refresh strategy should be motivating and retraining your staff on how to sell it. What features and advantages might they have been ignoring in their initial pitch? Can they leverage it as a cheaper, but just as good alternative to a more expensive product?

Play the discount game. It’s definitely a game of strategy, but if done right, it can make items move. The holidays already are sales event driven, so kick it into high gear and offer doorbuster deals in-store and flash sales online. Start with a modest discount of 30 percent off and keep adjusting the discount from there. You can even mix in a few good sellers as an incentive and invite customers to join your loyalty program or email list for future alerts on new and more lucrative items.The best part is that not only can discounts turn inventory, they can also lead to growing and retaining a loyal customer base.

Sales still cold? Bundle up! It’s one of the more popular retail pricing methods in use and for good reason. Bundling products increases their perceived value, and also earns customer loyalty because the need to go to another site or store is reduced. The trick to it is still offering them the singular product at the regular price while showcasing a bundle that offers multiples of the product at a reduced price. You can even bundle products that customers like together or complimentary products.

Everyone loves a freebie. Have an excess of low-cost items? You can always inspire customer loyalty by using them as a giveaway or incentive. But don’t just give the milk away, as the saying goes. Make customers sign up for your mailing list or increase their shopping cart to get those items. Nothing in this world is truly free, right?

Exchange or donate. You may be able to return merchandise to your vendor for credit or get a swap for new merchandise. Many vendors don’t want products sitting on the floor for too long either, so it can be mutually beneficial. If all else fails, consider donating and taking advantage of tax and PR opportunities. The tax break can be great, but by donating to non-profits, you can get some great PR out of it locally, nationally, or even globally.

The time to start planning is now and if you need help, MarketSource’s assisted sales representatives are specifically trained to be an extension of your brand. They help create a memorable in-store experience that will keep customers loyal and finalize sales. Additionally, we offer marketing and development research that offers insights that will help you reach your consumer base. Learn more about how we can help your end of life inventory sales be a success.

Topic: Retail

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Matt Rudolph is Solutions Practice Leader at MarketSource. He leads development of B2B sales, sales operations, and the outsourcing customer-engagement model. He develops repeatable discovery and modeling tools for the design of executable sales programs inclusive of ROI, sales targets, talent requirements, sales compensation models, coverage modeling, process, technology and information requirements.

6 Ways to Optimize Your Retail Sales This Holiday Season

To bring more cheer into your organization (and into your revenue), adjusting to a few common issues can bring cheer instead of a lump of coal.

Read More >

The Age of Webrooming: Brick and Mortar Relevance to Home Improvement Sales

Studies show that in the age of webrooming, brick and mortar home improvement retail is still relevant and needs better customer service to drive sales.

Read More >

The Relationship Between Online and Brick And Mortar

With the internet still growing exponentially, retail status quo is likely to continue to change in the coming decade. But it doesn’t mean the end of brick and mortar.

Read More >