What do you do with stale inventory that “just won’t sell?”. If you’re like most, you have a clothing rack with a bunch of hand written SALE signs taped to it. While the rack can serve as a reminder for poor retail decisions in the past, more importantly, it sends a powerful message to clients that undermines your ability to sell apparel moving forward.
The issue: once members see that older items make their way onto the rack, they’ll know to just wait patiently until it gets on the discount rack. Why preorder it? It will just find it’s way in the discount pile!
You may have noticed this if you’ve visited a mall recently: most stores will not offer discount racks anymore. You’ll need to go online to do your discount shopping. J. Crew initiated an aggressive discount policy in their meteoric rise from about 2004-2012. The company noticed customers loved their new apparel, but when asked why they didn’t buy it, their customers said “I’ll just wait for it to go on sale”.
Try this: If you have some inventory that is stale, just remove it from the shelves, and put it in a back office. “Does this mean I have to throw them out?”. Nope. I guarantee a handful of people will come up to you asking “Where are those shirts? I was going to buy one!”.
“But, I have a lot of old stuff. Like, a lot": If you have THAT much inventory, I recommend doing a once a year garage sale at a member appreciate event…like a holiday party…or Summer BBQ event. A once a year thing will not undermine your retail if it is done in conjunction with an event because it is a “special” opportunity for members to take advantage of.