Merchandising Know-How: On Sale

One of the most important, but often-abused events of the retail calendar is the after-Christmas sale. Love it or hate it, in-store sales continue to provide the motivation for many consumers to become customers and for retailers to reduce inventories and generate additional sales.
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Getting the most out of post-holiday sales.

One of the most important, but often-abused events of the retail calendar is the after-Christmas sale. Love it or hate it, in-store sales continue to provide the motivation for many consumers to become customers and for retailers to reduce inventories and generate additional sales.

Just posting a SALE sign in your window doesn't equal success. Customers are suspicious about sales and can sniff out an insincere offer. Make your sale offers clear, customer friendly and the sale merchandise easy to find in the store. Signage will help direct customers and should communicate an easily understood message. Saying: "Half Price" is more effective than saying "50% Off"? (For more tips on signage, go to www.merchandisingHUB.com/sources/popit.asp)

Treat your sale merchandise with respect and you'll move it faster. Here's how:
* Position a table near the front entrance for folded sale apparel and sign it clearly.
* Group like items together to make them more appealing.
* Consolidate sale items by price point -- "under $20," "under $30"
* Position sale merchandise both at the front and rear of the store. (For more on product positioning, click on www.merchandisingHUB.com/ideas/howdoi.asp)
* Make sure all sale items are priced correctly.
* Mark each item with a was/now price.
* Use point-of-purchase signs on all fixtures that house sale merchandise.
* Ensure that non-sale merchandise is strongly presented to take advantage of impulse shopping.

And, finally, inform your sales team of all sale offers, both in terms of what you've advertised, what items have been reduced, new pricing and inventory levels.

Sharon Leicham, former Outdoor Retailer Merchandising Editor, is the author of Merchandising Your Way to Success and How to Sell to Women. She is a frequent contributer to trade magazines writing on merchandising and marketing topics. She recently launched a website, www.merchandisingHUB.com, with information targeted at the independent specialty retailer.

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