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8 easy ways to get rid of excess retail inventory

December 23, 2016

Struggling to sell excess retail inventory? We’ve got you covered! A common problem in the retail industry is having surplus inventory that won’t sell.

When this happens, retailers can lose major cash, while unsold items sit idly on the shelf. Instead of losing out on sales, we have eight retail inventory management solutions that will help you get rid of these items, so that you can focus on new ventures for your business.

1. Add items to the sales rack – If your inventory isn’t selling at full price – it’s time to mark it down! Many shoppers are more likely to buy an item solely because it is on sale. Take advantage of this by offering big sales that customers can’t resist, you’ll be surprised at how quickly items fly off the shelf!

If you’re having a difficult time selling items, consider ‘buy one, get one free’ or ‘buy one, get one half off’ promotions. Although you won’t be making as much money as you originally intended, you’ll still be bringing in some cash.

2. Try selling online – Are you only giving customers the option to shop in-store? If so, allow customers to find your business in other ways, by listing items on sites like Shoptiques, Shopify or other e-commerce retail sites. These sites could help you reach new customers, that aren’t able to visit your physical location. In addition, update your website, and allow customers to purchase items there.

E-commerce isn’t going anywhere, and it’s important to list your business’s inventory on websites, instead of just sticking to your store!

3. Collaborate with other businesses – A great way to make additional sales while also networking in your community is to collaborate with fellow local business owners! Get creative, and find ways to sell your inventory through these partnerships.

See if a local salon will feature your items; as many customers might want to shop before their appointment. Hold joint customer appreciation events, where both business’ services are showcased. Ask a local business if you can put up flyers about an upcoming sale. These retail business ideas could help you sell the inventory you’re dying to part with!

4. Boost marketing efforts – If you’re having trouble selling items, it may be time to re-evaluate your retail marketing plan! These upgrades can be as simple as updating your in-store marketing materials, or consistently posting on social media.

Many shoppers find out about local retail stores through social media, so make sure to build your following! Post pictures of items on sites like Pinterest, especially extra inventory that needs to be sold. Hopefully, these images will interest shoppers, and convince them to make a purchase!

5. Reward returning customers – Entice consistent customers to continue shopping at your store, and encourage them to bring their friends! Let’s be honest, people are attracted to things that seem exclusive. Make your patrons feel appreciated by holding small customer appreciation events. Offer additional discounts, refreshments, a few prizes and you’ll have a successful event! In addition, contemplate starting a customer loyalty program. If a customer is a member of this program, they may be more likely to frequent your store, and might even hit up the sale rack.

6. Consider consignment– In need of a last ditch effort to sell leftover inventory? Pack up your items, and bring them to a thrift or consignment store. Although you may not be able to sell items for their full value, it’s better than not making any money at all! Some consignment businesses may offer wholesale pricing, so consider pursuing this if you’re looking to get rid of an especially large amount of inventory.

7. Donate items to charity – If you are unable to sell certain items, donate them to a good cause! There are so many charities that would love to have your new items, plus you’ll get a tax write off. By consistently donating items that haven’t been sold, you can advertise these charitable efforts on your marketing platforms. You’ll feel good giving back to those in need, and customers will see that your business is involved in the community!

8. Learn from buying mistakes – By putting focus on retail inventory management, you’ll save yourself time and money in the future. Determine which items are selling, and which aren’t capturing customers’ attention. This way, the next time you’re choosing inventory for your retail store, you’ll select products that fit your customer’s needs.

Hopefully, with these retail business ideas, you’ll be able to eliminate this issue in the future. Focusing on retail inventory management will enable you to make smarter purchasing decisions, so that you can feature items that customers want to buy. Have any other tips for selling excess inventory? Let us know in the comment section below.

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