Boutiques, are you on to a winner? This is how to maximise that gold.
In ever evolving industries such as fashion, success comes from being able to move stock fast enough to keep up with the latest consumer demands, while not getting lumbered with yesterday’s look.
Trends come and go in the blink of an eye; so making the most of your stock while it’s still the latest trend can really boost your cash flow and profit.
Retailers that are quick to adapt stock to customer demands have a greater opportunity to profit during the pre and in-season buying times.
So how can you make the most of your best sellers? Here are a number of useful tips to consider:
Look closely at your top selling lines to pinpoint the particular style, size and colours that sell best. Particular attention should be paid to the number of units sold each day or week to calculate the minimum stock you need to keep in the stockroom to ensure the sales floor is always full. Factor in the lag between making an order with a supplier and the actual delivery date to ensure best selling lines never run dry.
Focus on supplier relationships
Successful fashion businesses hinge on the timely delivery of fast-selling popular items, so a good relationship with your suppliers is a big advantage. Negotiating a contract that lets you buy smaller quantities of stock more frequently can help you keep pace with new lines, without swamping the stockroom with old stock and draining your cashflow.
By buying smaller amounts of popular items and rolling new lines through quickly, you can maximise your selling potential. You might be paying slightly higher supplier costs for smaller stock amounts, but you’ll avoid impacting on profit by not having to discount unsold stock once it’s lost its appeal.
If you struggle to find a supplier that will let you order smaller amounts, you may find that you can increase your businesses potential by financing the purchase of your stock. This essentially guarantees that your supplier can be paid quickly and on a regular basis, without tying up your cashflow. Also, being able to pay for your merchandise up-front can even mean discounted rates and faster delivery times.
Maximising returns on best-selling stock, with a limited shelf life, can be quite an art to master. The key to boosting sales is to push these items through as quickly as possible without over committing to stock on hand. By developing and maintaining a consistent buying culture with your supplier, you’ll be able to attract customers with the best range of stock possible, freeing up your working capital and boosting your businesses potential.
For the past 20 years Debra Templar has been working alongside small business owners teaching them about customers – how to find them, get them and keep them – and all that entails. She knows that businesses thrive or die depending on their offer to customers. Knowledgeable and pragmatic, Debra gets to the heart of the issue and offers cost-effective solutions, all with the aim of improving the business. This year Debra was recognised as one of Vend’s Top 50 Retail Influencers world-wide.