Retail Tips on Managing Inventory

February 18, 2010 Evergreen Enterprises, Inc. 0 Comments

Consumers are shopping less. They are not spending as much time on their quest. If a retailer doesn’t have an adequate selection to satisfy the consumer, that store is unlikely to get another shot at that consumer anytime soon. The big boxes have reduced their on-hand inventory model over the last year. Consumers are seeking selection and availability. Retailers that go against the trend of shrinking inventory will benefit.

As retailers strive to keep their inventory investment manageable, they have been keeping their on-hand balance lower. Their orders tend to be closer to immediate demand.  If we can’t ship them when they need it, they lose sales.  Also, we are in an industry driven by hot and new products. If a retailer is out-of-stock on the highest demand items, their business suffers.

Managing inventory always comes down to balancing the need to answer the demand, with the necessity of keeping your total inventory investment manageable and active. Goods that don’t turn prevent investment in goods that do. Keeping availability on the active goods while avoiding being encumbered with “dead” goods is the challenge.
For retailers to stay on top of what's new, some of our advice is:
  • See your salespeople regularly.
Some retailers rely on catalogs and websites to shop for new products.  They miss the value of rep input…more detailed information about the products that comes from the rep having actually seen the goods, information about merchandise trends for their specific region or channel, competitive information about other vendors in the category and their value propositions, and ideas about how other retailers in the area have been successful (or not) with a particular product or category.
  • Visit trade shows.  
These shows give a retailer the opportunity to see the product properly merchandised, in an environment which closely duplicates a retail setting.

To help retailers become better poised, Evergreen has worked out these initiatives after time-tested practice.
  • Frequent new product introductions.
  • Equipping TMs with near real-time inventory info and EDAs on out-of-stock goods.
  • Promos that encourage pre-booking and preplanning.
  • Company employed TMs to assist the retailers in the planning and prebooking process.

Tom Steinmetz
Director of Sales