Walk into just about any retail store and you’ll find merchandise on sale. Sometimes there’s a sign out front blurting 50% off (select items) and other times the whole store is on sale.
Apparel is notorious for merchandise on sale. And you know exactly where to find it. Think Banana Republic — It’s usually in the back of the store, and a lot of times it’s in complete disarray. But we plow through it anyway, hunting for the right style in the right size – price really doesn’t matter.
Other stores place their sale merchandise in its proper home with similar full price products. Think Williams-Sonoma, Pottery Barn — Call it adjacent shopping. They figure if you’re shopping in a certain category, you’ll buy the products you want as well as similar products that are deeply discounted. It’s a different strategy than apparel retailers employ take but it works equally well.
Ultimately it’s about the sale, which ultimately is about price – to a
sale customer, price doesn’t matter as long as there’s a deal. Most
retailers know that if a customer comes in for a product, they’ll
always gravitate to the sale area in addition to buying the product
that they need. And that benefits you in two ways.
1. It increases your average transaction and thus increases overall sales
2. It decreases your slow-moving inventory that’s clogging up your open-to-buy
THE REAL WORLD RETAILING TAKEAWAY
Create a sale area in your store. Whether it’s a specific sale area like apparel retailers or your specific items on sale within each category of business, a sale is a must. It’s the best way to clear slow-moving inventory.
Say it loud and say it proud! SALE! There’s a reason every sale sign is red and white — retailers have trained us to look for the sign. And chances are it will stand out against your store environment (red and white = stop sign…makes sense, doesn’t it?). Don’t make the mistake of creating a sale area and then neglecting to create signage for it. It doesn’t have to be obnoxious, a simple 8 x 10 or two will suffice.
And as far as location goes, if you’re going to create an area in your store for sale merchandise, don’t crowd the front of your store with it – it cheapens your brand. Place it near the back in a conspicuous place that’s visible so customers will know it’s there. You can also direct every customer to the area (“We also have select merchandise on sale in near the back of the store”).
SALE – there’s no sweeter word to a shopper. Get your piece of the pie by creating a sale area in your store and be on your way to greater sales (of course the pun is intended).