Have sales become stagnant at your school store? Now is the time to clear out old inventory to make room for new products. You will need to develop a strategy that will lead to maximizing profits. Here are a few points to consider as you develop best practices for your school store’s operations during this time of the year.
Everyone loves a sale during the holiday season. While people tend to spend more freely for others at this time, they still want to get the best deals that their money can buy. How can you attract their purchasing power at your school store? First, target merchandise that is seasonal. In a few months, consumers will not be after items with snowflake designs or other symbols of winter on them. Nor will they want the merchandise that they passed over back when it debuted at your store. It is time for these target items to move off your shelves. When you are planning to discount this targeted merchandise, the second step is to review your records. Your students can help. They can learn lessons on organizing, analyzing, and using data by reviewing the cost of merchandise and deciding how the retail price can be lowered for a sale on the merchandise yet still be economically viable.
Later, business decisions can be made based on this data and its results so that the school store is better managed in the future. For instance, you may adjust the quantity of the purchases you make, or you may decide not to carry those items at all. The merchandise that does not sell well can tie up finances, clutter up storage space, and cost time in respect to the labor involved with caring for that merchandise as long as it is around. Be sure to consider this when you are faced with the decision to sell at a loss.
Create Buyer Interest
Advertising is everywhere! We pass it on the road, hear it on the radio, and see it on TV. Businesses want us to know about their goods and services, but, most importantly, they want us to be aware of their current promotions. Your school store’s advertising should be no different. Enlist the help of your students to create an advertising campaign for the items you are targeting. In addition to informing consumers of the school store’s location and hours of operation, you will need to include information on the hot deals now available.
Students can mount posters inside entrances, around the cafeteria, and down high-traffic hallways. If you have access to display cases, let your students create a winter landscape around the target merchandise. Include pricing so shoppers know that prices have been slashed. Besides teaching students how to use visual aides to fulfill a specific purpose, they can practice their public speaking skills by delivering an advertisement during your school’s morning announcements. Additionally, you can include blurbs on the discounted merchandise in communications that are sent home to parents. Likewise, be sure to mention it at scheduled PTA meetings and during other gatherings where parents and teachers may be. Other teachers may capitalize on your sale by buying these items as gifts for their entire class.
Plan for New Merchandise
Before too long, everyone will be looking forward to spring’s return. You will want to use that as leverage in your school store. Pull customers in by including merchandise designed with symbols of spring. Prepare for new advertising campaigns directed by students. Before winter is over, you can have a plan in the works for any audio or visual aides that will be used to showcase the new products.
Along with this, you must get ready to place orders for products that will include personalization. With your students, brainstorm ideas for merchandise that can be used by clubs and sports teams in the upcoming months. For instance, water bottles may be one kind of item in demand soon. Chances are, you will want to add your school’s name, team’s mascot, or words of inspiration to items like these. Do not wait to place your orders. Anticipate having a lengthier wait time for these personalized items than the wait time for general merchandise. You are more likely to have strong sales for such merchandise when the sports begin their season or when the clubs begin meeting instead of when those groups are in the middle of their activities. Your school store can be the go-to location for what they need right from the get-go.
As you work to eliminate old merchandise from your school store, be sure to take notes on how you do it and the results that follow. Hopefully, you will have less to deal with each year as you become more savvy in the business decisions made for the school store. Remember that ridding the store of the old and bringing in the new is a task that you do not have to do alone. Whenever possible, look for ways to enlist the help of students and PTA members. They can help you, plus they will be able to learn about what makes financial success in the process.