Should You Eliminate A Product Category?
So many stores, so much stuff. In light of our recession, retailers are trying to find ways to survive the reality of their retail sales – or lack of them. Inventory is being analyzed, sales and promotions are running wild and orders are being slashed for new goods. Finding balance in it all can be overwhelming – but important. One thought to consider is if you can simply begin to fade out and then ultimately eliminate one product category in your store.
If you are a shoe store selling handbags and jewelry to help enhance your shoe sales, maybe eliminating handbags is something to consider. This should, of course, be considered only after determining handbag sales are down. The goal should be to eliminate one or maybe a few categories that are not performing as well that in return will allow you to focus all your energy and financial availability towards the categories that are selling better. Dollars will open up and customer focus will be strengthened. In addition, the products that are moving will be highlighted more since there will be less product assortment for customers to consider. Take the opportunity to really analyze your current assortment of inventory and decide what is selling best and what isn’t selling at all. And ask yourself – are customers coming to your store for “this particular item / category” or do you have it in your store to help enhance other products? If customers aren’t coming to your store for it and it isn’t selling, maybe it’s time to reconsider why you have it in your product assortment at all.
Another thought is to eliminate a few brands without taking away total categories. This should be considered if you believe the category you are offering is vital to your overall store success.
Finally, be realistic with yourself. As boutique owners and small business buyers, we often tend to let our personal emotions get in the way of our professional decisions. Try and be netrual here to make the best decision right for your business.