Smaller businesses don’t need to work harder to succeed; they just have to work smarter. Unlike big retailers, smaller companies have a certain flexibility and adaptability that big retailer’s momentum just won’t allow. A small business has to be able to stop on a dime, change course, and do it with smooth precision. This is why product placement in retail merchandising is so important. Using tools to control your inventory and conduct a retail store audit are important parts of getting your stock just right.

Reset!

A reset is a rearrangement of the store to highlight different products in different categories. This means working from a planogram that shows in detail how the best products should be placed. Using eye-level product placement, you can display your bestsellers horizontally or vertically, with some cross merchandising thrown in for good measure. The reason for using this system of placement is simple – if they can’t see it, then they won’t buy it. Getting your products up to eye level means that customers will see them first and that you will be able to move inventory.

Too Much of a Good Thing is a Bad Thing

Inventory is the retailer’s lifeblood, but having too much inventory is not a good thing. How can you tell when you have too much? That’s what you need a solid base of retail store audit data so that you don’t have to guess how many units of an SKU you’ve moved. This is the type of data that bringing in bar codes and field reporting software will do – whether you are one store or one hundred stores. This data will also tell you if your retail execution is working correctly.

Stock Happens

Sooner or later, anyone who sells something and up with overstock. Those tempting deals for buying a large amount of product can lead not only to stuffed stock rooms and overcrowded shelves, but packed garages and storage spaces. How does inventory cost you money? Let’s look at three fast facts.

  1. The Retail Owners Institute points out that excess inventory leads to two chains of events. On the first chain is the expenditure of capital, leading to a tighter cash flow, debt service that incurs interest, and lower profits. The second chain is excess inventory that becomes obsolete or expired, gets pilfered or damaged, and incurs costs in the form of maintenance, taxes, and insurance. Your margin is lowered even more when you have to advertise and sell at a lower price to clear the excess.
  2. There are more ways than selling to get rid of overstock. Industrial Supply magazine recommends returning overstock for cash or credit when possible.
  3. The Harvard Business review points out that closing stores doesn’t have to be a bad thing. In fact, the contraction can cut overhead and help to free up capital for operations.

Placing your stock for maximum impact is the right start to getting that excess up and out the door, and to putting cash back in cash flow!