Everyone complains that Christmas comes earlier every year but for retailers, it really does.
As a long-standing retailer, you know it’s that time of year when your wholesalers start to sell Halloween, Bonfire night and Christmas products. Now it’s time to clear your decks and make way for some seasonal stock – Halloween costumes and masks, buckets of sweets, glow in the dark items, fireworks, and enough Christmas stocking fillers to sink a battleship.
As a seasoned seasonal stock retailer, you have crafted procedures to help you and your staff prepare for the upcoming busy period. However, sometimes in the mad rush, certain things can be overlooked; this is why we are sharing top tips for dealing with seasonal stock safely.
Clear the decks
This is an excellent opportunity to have a sort out and general tidy up of your stockroom. It’s worth taking the time now to update your inventory to make a record of all the stock you currently have. If you have been doing this for a long time, you will have a good idea of what sells and what doesn’t. If a box of Halloween costumes has been circling your stockroom for a couple of years, then you know it’s probably not worth buying more of them. Keep an eye out for trends and pick carefully the products you wish to buy; that way, you know you have plenty of space.
Rotate slow moving stock
If you have Christmas, Bonfire Night and Halloween stock in your store, then store it in seasonal order in your stock room – after all, people probably won’t want to buy Halloween decorations at Christmas. Keep faster moving stock at the forefront but make sure that the slower or non-seasonal stock is still easily accessible, as you don’t want to be clambering over cardboard boxes to get to it.
Always think safety first but fire foremost
Keep explosive stock, such as fireworks, away from heating devices or direct sunlight. With extra seasonal stock comes extra cardboard boxes; make sure you dispose of all packaging correctly and safely. Your external bins should be at least three meters from your business premises, as bins full of cardboard could be a temptation for arsonists. Keep your shop safe, fire exits clear and fire doors shut.
Embrace the season and sell your stock
‘Tis the season after all; embrace it. Dedicate areas of your shop floor to seasonal stock and encourage your customers to take a look because once it’s gone, it’s gone.
Be careful of leaving high-value stock on display overnight or in blind sections of your shop, such as poorly lit areas or sections with no CCTV coverage, as this can be tempting to criminals.
If you find that your stock is not moving as well as you anticipated, why not embrace some seasonal marketing? It can be a simple as putting a board in front of your shop, or if you’re a little more tech-savvy, then why not put out a social media post?
If you find the idea of marketing a little daunting, then download our free wonderfully simple marketing guide for small businesses.
Don’t forget to tell your cover provider
It’s not just your customers you need to tell about your seasonal stock – don’t forget to tell your cover provider too.
If your stock value has increased above your cover limits due to seasonal products, then you could be at risk. If there is a fire, theft, or damage to this stock, you may not be fully covered and could incur a loss.
At The Retail Mutual, we offer a 50% increase in your stock cover limit during seasonal months, but please be aware this is only for items purchased during November and December; any additional stock purchased before these months will not be covered.
If you do wish to change your cover limits, The Retail Mutual doesn’t charge admin fees. The only cost incurred would be as a result of the stock cover limit increase itself, not for updating your cover.
Do not underestimate the value of your stock. With rising inflation and price increases, your stock could be worth more than you thought, so it’s worth doing a price check while you’re carrying out a stock take; otherwise, you might find yourself out of pocket.
Call. Quote. Covered.
If you want a stronger business for a stronger future, choose The Retail Mutual as your business cover provider. Since its inception in 1999, The Retail Mutual has grown to provide cover to over 100 different trade types, including retail, hair salons, barbershops and catering businesses.Why not see what we can do for your business by getting a free no-obligation quote from us? Talk to one of our team by calling 0333 3446 078 or start your quote journey on our website. The Retail Mutual is in your corner.
Contributor: The Retail Mutual
Holly brings a wealth of experience in both print and digital publishing. As Modern Retail’s Content Editor, Holly is passionate about helping independent retailers to thrive in today’s ever-changing market.