I saw it time and time again when I was a District Manager on my store visits. I would see each and every display beautifully and meticulously merchandised with the customers’ convenience and sanity in mind, that is until I would take myself to that back corner deemed the “clearance section”. This became the ‘catch all’ for old, uncategorized product that no one knew what to do with.
Now as a civilian of the retail world I cringe at the site of a messy clearance department, and I think of all the missed opportunity. Clearance sales are not the highest priority sales, but with such great value to our customers they can add up to great profits and numbers that will add to our overall sales.
Ways to Build Up the Sales in Your Clearance Department:
- Keep it clean, nothing makes a product lose value more than a filthy display. Keep the shelves dust and gunk free and clothing off the floor. Continue maintenance throughout the day just like you would any other department of the store. I know this sounds time consuming, but it will actually save more time down the road during inventories, restocking, and floor moves. Being familiar with your clearance will also keep theft down.
- Do not overstock the same product. Make the item appear like a real find, make room for more of a product variety, and this will keep you from overstocking the racks making them “unshoppable”. Nothing is more frustrating as a customer then being unable to pull out that one interesting sweater unscathed due to the tangled mess of the racks it is displayed on.
- Make sense of the eclectic mix of product. Find a way to organize the merchandise whether it be by shape, department, size, color, or style. Keep it organized in a way that makes it inviting to customers, and easy for a civilian of the shop to understand the order.
A welcoming clearance section will compel customers to take time to shop and time to shop will encourage multiple items brought to the register and many happy customers returning for more down the road. This will also help to clear out inventory quicker, making more room for newer merchandise on your sales floor and in your stockroom.
What are some of the worst clearance sections you’v ever seen?
From the Archives: Originally Posted October 2015