Accessorize: January is No Time to Relax
3. The Returns Shopper
We all have a relative who’s kind enough to remember us each year with a gift that we will never use or never be caught dead wearing. Returns shoppers begrudgingly stand in return lines to get cash or gift cards for their unwanted gifts. Getting to the end of the long return line is the reward. They get cash or a gift card so that they can buy themselves something they really want. At this point, if they haven’t already contemplated a purchase, they will scan your store looking for a new treasure.
The key to keeping them in your store is making the return experience seamless. After spending millions in advertising and promotions to get them in your store, don’t lose them now. Plus, the store just took their return, a negative sale. You need to close them again. Make sure return clerks are well trained and go out of their way to be friendly. You may also want to offer store coupons to store entice buying.
4. The Clearance Shopper
No matter how good your planning, advertising and sales execution strategy is, some merchandise will be overstocked after the holidays and the clearance shoppers are aware. The clearance shopper is your friend. They help free up “sunk,” unproductive inventory dollars so that you can buy new saleable merchandise.
The best thing to remember when dealing with clearance shoppers is to make sure the clearance items are clearly marked and easy to find. Taking markdowns and hiding the merchandise in the back of the store is any easy way to have to overspend markdown dollars to make the bad goods go away. The old saying that the first markdown is the cheapest markdown is the best rule to follow after the holidays. Before you know it, you will have additional inventory dollars for new merchandise.
Instead of relaxing, it looks like January is going to be a very busy month and a huge opportunity for additional sales and profits. Of course, the key to a successful January, as with everything in retail, is planning, training and execution. DS