Statistically February is the quietest month of the year for retailers in the UK golf industry. Christmas is well and truly over, the sales are finished, but the weather just isn’t enticing people onto the course. There may not be a steady flow of customers coming through the door, but it doesn’t have to mean a quiet shop.
It’s the lull before the storm and there’s plenty to do during February to prepare for the months ahead. Savvy retailers need to look ahead and establish good retail 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’re likely to need a lot of clear space to put it in.
Apart from taking up room in the stockroom or shop, excess stock ties up capital that you could otherwise be re-investing. It doesn’t have to be a headache and February really needs to see the back of last year’s stock to make way for new arrivals.
The average Pro Shop has approximately £16,000 too much stock. Use February to clear the decks and review any forward orders.
We’d recommend either a ‘Store or Clear’ approach. If you decide to ‘store’ your old stock, just remember you’ll need room for the new Spring items arriving at the shop this month, and don’t forget about it when you start to order more!
However, if you choose to ‘Clear’ old stock, hopefully you won’t have much left to sell by now. The 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.
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. Make sure your whole team knows – and incentivise them!
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!
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 moving items, or complimentary items such as socks with golf shoes
- Sell Surplus Stock Online
Try to avoid heavy discounts in your shop – it sets dangerous precedents for your customers and may prevent them buying that lovely new stock that will be landing very soon. Instead, have a look at selling excess stock off site – perhaps on eBay or Amazon
- 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. Be strategic with your sales.
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.
You’ve done your clearance and made room in the shop for new stock: so, what’s the plan now? 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.
“Retail is Detail”
It’s not enough to just log product quantities against a generic category, such as “shirts”. This won’t help you when it comes to reporting, or making important buying decisions! Your epos system should enable you to break-down the products by brand, size, colour… or even shaft and loft, depending on the item.
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.
February and March are good months to review orders you’ve made previously, and decide whether you still want them, or not. How are you doing so far, with that first stock delivery, and do you think you can sell the rest of the order? Were you over-optimistic when you placed the order? Many Pro’s don’t realise that you can cancel pre-books.
Although you didn’t hear that from us…
For any advice about running your retail business, just get in touch with our expert, friendly team.