Managing your inventory is more important than ever this year. With fewer customers coming through the door, we don’t have as many opportunities to find just the right buyer for slower moving merchandise.  And with less sales income, we need to make sure we don’t have money tied up in older inventory that could be used to pay the bills – or to buy fresh goods.

Many of us count on events such as a street fair to clearance unwanted goods. This past Saturday would have been the 43rd annual Monroe Street Festival, and we had a perfect day for it – except for the pandemic.  So instead we will need to find ways to put merchandise on sale in the store, and to move as much of it as possible without depending on a large number of shoppers.

The BOGO promotion (buy one, get one free) that I’ve described in an earlier blog post is more effective than a half price sale if you have a large quantity of an item to sell – and the price is in effect the same. If you don’t want to go with that deep a discount, consider buy one, get one at half price.

Canadian retailers Diana and Kevin Moore of the Purple Cow Gift Shop in Fairmont Hot Springs have a creative twist on this concept.  They call it their 30-40-50 Sale.  A customer can buy one of a sale item for 30% off, but if they buy two the discount goes to 40% off.  At three or more, the discount increases to 50%, and Diana reports that customers often buy at least five of whatever is on sale. “Some come back next day to get another deal…and you come out ahead if they only find 2 items they can’t live without!”  You can of course also do this progressive discount at 40%, 50% and 60% – which makes it even more likely that customers will buy three of more of an item.  

Since 2005, the Purple Cow Gift Shop has been bringing Columbia Valley shoppers remarkable gifts, toys, games and puzzles, jewelry and accessories, delicious handmade fresh fudge – and now they’re sharing a great sale idea with their fellow retailers.  We can make it through this crisis more easily if we follow their lead and help each other.

Happy Retailing, 

Carol “Orange” Schroeder