From The Co-Founders


Tips, Tactics & Strategic Insights and Commentary
from The ROI Co-Founders, Pat Johnson and Dick Outcalt
Outcalt & Johnson: Retail Strategists LLC; Retail Turnaround Experts

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How Everyone Can Join in the Fun!

Except for the lingering sugar high, Halloween is soon to be behind us. Retailers know what that means: on to the Holiday Season!

Of course, for most retailers that brings a major focus on sales. 

But, savvy retailers are focused especially on the targeted ending inventory on December 31. Those retailers are carefully watching sales reports, and are poised for action. 

  • Each week, they identify "What's not selling yet?" And they do something about it! Move it around on the floor? Display it differently? Pair it with merchandise that IS selling? Lots of choices. 
  • What about markdowns? What are we waiting for? The customers are here now. Do we really want to wait for January clearance sales?
  • Or, maybe there are entire lines you plan to discontinue in 2023. How can you be sure to clear out that merchandise while the customers are coming in at Holiday?

And for Some Added Interest – and Fun!
For those who are focused on managing and controlling their inventory (since it is their largest asset), here is a tactic you might want to use. 

It helps focus everyone on getting to that targeted ending inventory level on December 31. Especially, which inventory do we want less of? 

  1. First, identify the merchandise items you want to be out of by year's end. 

  2. Mark it down by, say, 20%. Make the merchandise noticeable.

  3. Let your staff know that you are putting a spiff, perhaps $5 or $10 (depending on price points in your stores) on each item sold. Give them ideas on how these items can be add-on sales.

  4. Here's the key: every time one of those items is sold, the spiff money goes into a pool. (And a chart in the break room will keep track of each day's total.)

  5. Then, at Christmas, that pooled money will be shared among all employees, based on their hours worked. 

This is a great technique to add some fun for your staff – and some teamwork – to help move out that merchandise you really don't want around come the New Year. 

And depending on how many items you have targeted, the total cost of the spiff money is likely less than a steeper markdown would have been. And this way, that money goes to your employees! Sweet!

Time to start identifying those merchandise items that will be on the spiff list. Let their Farewell Tours begin!

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