February: The Lull Before the Storm

Statistically February is the quietest month of the year for retailers in the UK golf industry. We’ve shut the door on the festivities and the sales are over, but sadly the weather isn’t enticing people back to the courses.

It’s the lull before the storm and there’s plenty to do during February to prepare for the months ahead. Savvy retailers should be preparing the shop and establishing good habits now, before footfall increases and the shop gets busier.

So, what should Pros be doing to get ready for the upcoming season?

 

FINAL CLEARANCE OF EXCESS STOCK

This month, it’s likely you’ll be receiving some new stock, such as clubs, balls, bags and clothing, and you’ll need space to put it in.

Apart from taking up room, excess stock ties up capital that you could otherwise be re-investing.

The average Pro Shop has approximately £16,000 too much stock. Use February to clear the decks and review any forward orders.

Crossover’s ‘Golden Rule’ is that no stock items should have a birthday and ideally you should be turning over stock every 3-4 months.  But if you do have any surplus stock, there are proven techniques you can try.

 

  1. Identify

It might seem obvious but make sure you know what your excess stock is. Don’t guess. A good epos system will be able to tell you which products are “unpopular” or haven’t sold.

 

  1. Remerchandise

Replace worn-out price tags, try a new layout in the shop, move things around and reposition categories. It’s amazing what a ‘re-jig’ can do!

 

  1. Bundling

Bundle certain items so they’re cheaper together than if they were sold separately. This is a popular tactic and means your average order will increase, while you clear surplus stock. Try bundling slow-moving stock with faster-selling items, or complimentary items such as socks with golf shoes.

 

  1. Sell Surplus Stock Online

Heavy discounts on stock items set dangerous precedents for your customers. Instead, have a look at selling excess stock off-site: perhaps on eBay or Amazon.

 

  1. Hold a Flash Sale

Sales are the most common way to get rid of excess stock, but try not to be predictable with events, or customers will wait for the sales before purchasing certain items.

 

 

NEW STOCK DELIVERY

The clock starts ticking as soon as stock comes in and you want to aim to sell it before the next batch of stock arrives in 3 months’ time. Preparation, in anticipation of new stock arrival in February and March, is key.

Where will the new stock go?  It’s a good idea to have a merchandising plan already in place, and if possible, allocate responsibility to a member of the team.

Best practice would mean that by now, you’ve already created new stock items on your epos system, ready for the new stock products. So, when they arrive, you can easily log them against the order.

It may seem obvious, but always check the order as soon as it arrives, to ensure you haven’t got less, or more, than you ordered. It’s also important to review how much the order cost you. It’s easy to forget a few days or weeks down the line, when the invoice comes in.

 

 

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