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  • Make Sure Your Seasonal Stock Turns into Cash

    Flowers and Profits®

    Holidays usually require that you stock and display more inventory than you are used to merchandising. So it's easy to get a little overwhelmed.

    As the holiday countdown progresses, merchandise may appear to be going out the door rapidly but you need to make sure it all leaves by the end of the season.

    Implement steps during the holiday process to ensure your merchandise will turn into revenue.

    Here are a few ways to move your merchandise out the door rather than into storage.

    Creative Purchasing

    The first way to prevent an abundance of leftover seasonal merchandise begins before the season with solid buying habits. When planning your seasonal purchases shoot for products that have a post-seasonal appeal.

    Generic baskets and other decorative floral containers can be incorporated into holiday purchases. A black, white, natural or neutral item can often be used to create a holiday floral design as well as a colored or novelty container.

    Stock merchandise for use in seasonal displays and designs that can also be used after the holiday. That includes holiday purchases of giftware, gourmet items, ribbons and balloons.

    Commit to Selling

    An overstock of seasonal merchandise can always be sold if you apply creativity and determination. For example, if you find an abundance of cording, use it to band vases or containers or to create a decorative hanger on a wreath or swag. Or, consider using it to create decorative packaging on wrapped or boxed flowers, as well as in wrapping customers' gift purchases.

    The themes and ingredients of many daily floral orders are open to the discretion of the designer. You can incorporate slow-moving stock into these types of orders. A basket you purchased for a gift basket may work well in a decorative plant combination design.

    Look beyond the parameters of what an item was originally purchased for or is usually used for to create a sellable product.

    Phone Sales

    Many holiday sales are completed over the telephone. By using a few choice words to describe the merchandise, you can guide customer purchases. Talk about colors, shapes and textures to aid seasonal merchandise sales. Be descriptive about the item you wish to move and make it sound the most appealing of your offered choices.

    A good sales strategy is to mention the item toward the middle or end of your suggestions, at the time when the customer is most likely to remember the options offered.

    Counter Sales

    An over-the-counter sales push is another successful way of moving holiday merchandise. Be sure the sales staff is informed about merchandise that requires a sales boost.

    It's beneficial to explain the different merits and usage of the products. You want to promote these products to the sales staff so they'll be more confident and knowledgeable in their sales efforts. Assist them by providing strategies and product benefits to help entice the purchase.

    Point-of-Sale and Impulse Sale Displays

    When you find an abundance of seasonal stock, design point-of-sale displays placed in visible, high-traffic areas. These displays should be highlighted with bold signage and strong sales messages.

    Impulse sales displays should be colorful and enticing to the customer. In addition to the stock you are trying to move, try to include fun, trendy, inexpensive seasonal merchandise, which encourages your customers to purchase added sales. Impulse displays are best located near the shop entrance and sales counter, but can also be effective near the cooler and wrapping areas.

    Sales and Markdowns

    Even the best efforts will result in some leftover merchandise after the holiday. This is why you always need an after-the-holiday sale.

    Many florists feel they would rather pack holiday merchandise away for the next season than mark it down. In actuality, it makes better business sense to put the merchandise on sale for revenue and cash flow purposes rather than storing it.

    This policy is better than tying up inventory dollars for a year. And, storing inventory requires extra labor time for packaging. Space in most shops is at a premium. Stored merchandise can become damaged and also may not appeal to customers next season without extra work and creativity.

    Many customers are enticed by sales, especially the bargain-conscious ones — post-seasonal items at a reduced price of 50 percent off or more.

    You need not worry about merchandising sale items. Put them out and encourage in-store customers to browse the table.

     

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