IMG_3773-1024It doesn’t matter what you call them – it could be shelf warmers, dogs, slow sellers or dust gatherers, even a “buying mistake” – they are doing the same things. They are taking up valuable space and using working capital or, in other words, cash.

Today I received our alcohol license renewal request – £180 to keep in the game. Dead lines will not help pay for this so I printed off a slow sellers report from our EPoS system to see which lines are not earning their space.

The report indicates the number of days since we last sold the particular product. A line drawn across at the one month point revealed that we had 28 different wines that have stopped selling, so then the next question is what to do you with dud lines?

A WHSmith area manager that I worked with under 30 years ago put quite simply what you can do with stock: a) Sell it at a profit, b) sell it at a loss or c) throw/give it away. Still taking this advice, I have set up a promotion to sell the stock off at £3.49 a bottle, with a view to going lower if we need to.

It will certainly be at a loss, but it will get it out of the way to make room for products that we can sell and make a profit on. If a line is not selling, leaving it on the shelf will not make it sell – a retailer needs to take action to move it along. The bonus is that our customers will get a bargain, and that’s a hook for the next offer.