Back to school is a huge time in retail. Students need new clothing and new supplies and retailers are glad to make their products available both in stores and online. Of course, once everyone is outfitted and prepared for their academic adventures, retail must focus on what comes next. Is September too early to prepare for the holidays?
Back to School Blues
The start of the school year means big business for clothing manufacturers who specialize in children and teen apparel. With the number of shoppers who take their business online, the boom is not only in the malls, but in cyber space as well. Children, teens and their parents snatch up the latest styles and take advantage of tax holidays and big sales to get all of the essentials they need for the school year. This drives sales in a big way.
Then, suddenly the malls are quiet and the online sales slow. Not only are the students already outfitted, they are also out of the stores and back in the classroom. Shopping is a popular summertime activity, but it simply won’t fit into many schedules once the regular school year begins anew.
So retailers push forward and look to see what is coming down the pipe. For many, the next focus is Christmas. For most consumers, Christmas shopping begins in earnest around mid November. These retailers take these autumn months to prepare for what is absolutely the biggest season of the year.
The fall months are an excellent time for housekeeping. Rework an e-commerce website and put in the reviews or new products you’ve been meaning to get to. Brick and mortar retailers can tear down old displays and build new ones. This is a great time to clean out the backroom and organize merchandise that has been stuffed in boxes or hung on racks for months during your busier seasons. It is also an excellent time clean up the records in anticipation of the end of the fiscal year. Bookkeeping can be burdensome, but taking advantage of a slow month now can make the task easier following the huge rush of holiday shoppers.
With less traffic in the store and a slow down in merchandise between heavy shopping periods, this is an excellent time to do an inventory and account for items. Presumably, your wares have been well picked over in the early fall by student shoppers. So before you start ordering and unpacking your new holiday products, run inventory and find lost or duplicate items to account for any shrink that might have occurred during the year.
Finally, when your housekeeping chores are done, it is time to fill your new displays and empty shelves with new merchandise. Holiday shopping is just around the corner and the latest styles are already out on runways. Find out what is hot in your industry and stock up. Then you can relax and enjoy the upcoming season with grace and style.