Want to have fun and reduce inventory at the same time?

January 27, 2017

4 fun ideas to reduce inventory this winter

Looking to move winter merchandise faster? Think beyond the BOGO or Buy-The-Bag Sales. Here are 4 fun promotional ideas to reduce inventory quickly. Remember, sales should be few and far between. You don’t want to be the store where everyone waits for your regular sales. So, make it a fun quarterly event and really surprise them. Add some urgency with a short time limit and quickly reduce inventory.

The “Boss Is Away” Event

What is the old adage? When the boss is away, the mice will play. Have your sales staff wear mouse ears and noses with whiskers for the event. Offer the “nibble” of the day deal that you promote with daily emails. Hang yellow banners that look like swiss cheese. Create a unique hashtag. Use something like #squeakingoutwinter or #yourstorenamedailynibble. Set up a selfie spot and encourage shoppers to take photos of themselves with a set of mouse ears. Fill grab bags with small items that just aren’t moving and offer them for $1, but be sure to include store gift cards or gift certificates in some of the bags. You want to encourage shoppers to return for more. Provide a snack table with cheese and crackers. Consider teaming with a local wine and cheese store to end the week with a fun invitation-only party or a grand prize drawing.

“Winter Blues” Event

Send blue invitations to current customers and add flyers to the bags of new shoppers promoting a special “Winter Blues” event. This is the perfect type of event to bundle items that aren’t moving. Add a pair of blue jeans at 50% off to any sweater purchase. Offer a daily blue deal, or a blue light special. Offer a special prize for the customer who wears blue during the event too. Make sure your sales staff is dressed completely in blue and decorate your shop with blue banners, blue crepe paper and blue balloons. Play music from the movie Frozen or put together a mix of songs that use the word “blue.” Serve cupcakes iced in blue and offer one of these delicious blue beverages. Create a special hashtag for your event and change the color of all of your marketing.

An Opposite Event

For those in the country who have been overwhelmed by winter storms and snow, this is a perfect way to heat up sales. Hold a “Flip Flop” event. Instead of Christmas in July, offer summer in February. Decorate your shop with beach towels, umbrellas and seashells. Your staff should wear Hawaiian print shirts and sunglasses. Offer “sizzlin’ summer deals” and “hot off the rack” bargains. If weather permits, grill hot dogs on the final day. Give a special gift to anyone brave enough to wear flip flops to the sale.

If you’re in a warmer climate, create your own winter wonderland. Hold a “Just chillin'” event. Use tulle or quilt batting to create snow. Plaster your shop with snowmen and snowflakes. If you know someone with a pair of skis, add the skis or a snowboard to a mannequin. Serve hot cocoa or cider and doughnuts. Reduce inventory with a price “freeze” or “bundle up” sale. For both climates, create appropriate hashtags and stage a selfie area to encourage customers to cross promote your event.

“Gamblers” Event

Although this type of event has many different names, progressive discounts or specials have always been one of the best ways to move merchandise. Customers are “betting” the item they want will still be available for the biggest discount. You create the tension by increasing the discount each day. Start with 20% off the first day and gradually increase to 75% off. Make sure you have a “Wheel of Fortune” at checkout that customers can spin to earn additional discounts, special prizes or gift cards. Have your staff wear visors, white shirts, vests and garters on their arms. Decorate with large playing cards. Create a hashtag like #Iwonatyourstorename.

This post has been updated from the original posted on 1/10/2014

Deb McGonagle

I have been a writer for various forms of marketing for over 40 years. I've written my share of radio and TV scripts, magazine and newspaper ads as well as direct mail brochures and newsletters. Currently, as the Marketing Director for Traxia, home of SimpleConsign software, I've moved into blog posts, eBooks and website text. It's been an ever changing and ever challenging journey but I've loved it all along the way.