Utilizing the tools discussed previously in this section, store management could improve the profit you obtain from the lines you carry by:
Obviously, stock-turns. are only general guidelines for store management. There are many reasons why, with respect to a specific item, you may not be able to adhere to them:
Stock-turns. alone are not enough of a guide upon which to evaluate your merchandise. In order to decide which merchandise may not be appropriate for your store and which should be replaced by more profitable merchandise, you should also look at the profit/ sq. ft. and profit on investment for the poorest items in each category, as discussed earlier in this section.
Before you decide to replace items from your merchandise lines which show poor performance in terms of profit/sq. ft. or profit on investment, you should assure yourself that your manner of merchandising them isn't the problem. In many instances, products can be promoted in order to improve their volume. With these items, you must try various advertising and promotion strategies as will later be discussed. At other times, it is obvious that little can be done with a product. Some items just do not lend themselves well to advertising or to promotion. In such cases gradual replacement is the best strategy.
Gradual Replacement of Undesirable Merchandise
Although it is possible to simply drop a low profit item from inventory, such a procedure narrows selection and may leave gaps of space within your store. It is generally better to first locate replacement merchandise before phasing out undesirable products. This is especially true where an entire merchandise line is involved, since simply dropping the line would create lower overall volume and less sales with which to carry your fixed costs.
Replacement of an undesirable product begins with a search for merchandise that might be useful in your store. Such a search can include steps used to initially decide on the merchandise lines to carry. You might:
By remaining alert and using these methods, you will gradually acquire new items to carry in your store and will be able to see whether these items improve your profitability. Sometimes entire lines of merchandise can be added this way.
Once you have introduced a new product or line, you must support it with:
Customers first must be aware that the line can be purchased in your store before it will become profitable for you. It is only after all sales and promotional efforts fail that it is probably best to mark dawn and sell remaining items and start again with a different item.
This is a gradual and difficult process, of course, but if you persevere, continue to identify those items that are least desirable, and slowly attempt to replace them, gradually the profitability of your store is certain to improve.
Checklist For Improving The Merchandise Mix In Your Store
This checklist is not designed to be exhaustive or to provide you with all the answers on how to improve merchandise selection and profitability of your store. It can, however, provide you with a starting point and a number of ideas which you may wish to consider for merchandise improvement.
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