The challenges of managing your stock

I am a retail manager of a newsagency in a university campus and as things are, I have dead stocks that I need to get rid of. I am looking for ideas how to reinvent ourselves to increase our sales again the way we used to. We have a new system that have just been put in place and becoming a burden to me as an admin work was added to my responsibility for the sake of stocktake. I don’t know what to do and I am really lost now…

This retailer highlights three big issues about store management; dead stock, what should I sell, and EPoS driven admin overload.

Early on in my retail career I was told by a WHSmith area manager that there are just three things you can do with stock: sell it at a profit, sell it at a loss or give it away. With dead stock, a retailer needs to have a seasonal sale for a defined period and reduce the target stock line at price to go. If there is any stock left afterwards, either give it away or throw it away.

Changing is a big challenge for any retailer. You have to start with having an understanding of what your customers want to buy today and tomorrow. Every location has a different set of opportunities. Therefore, owners need to start by carrying out some research by talking to customers and other retailers.

Retail success needs a strong administrative foundation, it has to be done, but there are some short term fixes. I personally always ran my scanning system with as close to accurate stock counts as I could achieve. That way my system could provide suggested orders whenever I needed them. An alternative is to use the period sales reports as the basis of a shopping list. With this approach, stock levels still need to be checked and a retailer is likely to have a higher stock investment than my preferred method, but it can reduce admin overload.

If you’re in need of some inspiration, here’s a great example of a retailer based at a university, who has really made sure he meets his customers’ needs.

Need some advice from our retail experts? Get in touch with us now!


This article doesn't have any comments yet, be the first!

Become a member to have your say