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The Appeal of a Clearance Section in Your Store


November 1, 2014

What is the appeal of a clearance section in a store? Well, cheap prices for one. It could easily be left at that, but it’s not the whole story. Clearance sales are enticing because people feel like they know they are getting a good deal no matter what. Huge price cuts at 50 percent off, 75 percent off, and even 90 percent off are very enticing to shoppers. Even if the end price is still hefty, if an emphasis is put on how much is saved there’s a sense of victory for the consumer. And, for store owners, clearance sales can often rake in some nice sales dollars to your bottom line. Whether it’s clothing, shoes or pet food, the principles remain the same. So, make sure you are featuring this special section in your store.

Peoples’ drive to get a good deal (or to win a good deal, as the mentality goes) can be used to a business’s advantage, especially when it comes to getting rid of old inventory that might be thrown out otherwise, in order to make space for new products.

Here are some suggestions on how to make a clearance section work for you:
•    Clear out old inventory quickly with price cuts and advertise these cuts
Left over inventory takes up valuable space, and what better way to clear it than to slash prices dramatically and make it the focus of your next big sale? Give a second chance to items that may have been overshadowed by another big release.
•    Bundle things and offer a discount
Bundle deals on toys, different flavors of pet treats, etc. to give people the best deal while moving more product at one time. You can accomplish this by offering a buy-one, get-one on these skus.
•    If product is being discontinued by the vendor, mention that in your signage.
People don’t like missing out on the last chance to get a product. Many customers come to rely on or become fond of certain products, and if they are being discontinued, those who are used to using them may take advantage of the deal and buy them in bulk.
•    Shopping can feel like a competition where in order to win, one must take advantage of the discount.
Use language to encourage this, again emphasizing the “missing out” factor. People feel good when they get a deal.
•    Ask your distributor for close-outs to help design your clearance section.

Many distributors have a discontinued list of skus at a deep discount already, so why not take advantage of buying in on the cheap and making a little bit of extra profit on the sale? With the right products, you can stand to make some decent margins on these types of items. And, if you plan to purchase all that the distributor has on hand (which is sometimes not much), you can typically negotiate a little added discount. Don’t think that you cannot buy these types of items just because you didn’t stock it in your store originally. Think of it as buying these types of items to help design out your clearance section.

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