We are having our first sale at the shop. Having never done this before, I was surprised by the logistics that need to be worked through in preparation for the actual sale. We reduced summer items, props previously used in the shop, pillows, candles, accessories and even most of our custom furniture.
The sale launched on a Thursday and yet I struggled with coordinating the logistics leading up to the sale. For starters, I wanted the sale merchandise grouped together in the store for easy browsing and shopping. But, I didn't want customers to necessarily know the merchandise was "sale" before the actual start date.
I started by grouping all items targeted for the sale onto the white shelves (not marked down yet).
The inventory needed to be reduced in the computer system, but not too far in advance before the sale. The actual sale inventory needed to be labeled with its reduced price but coordinated close enough to the sale launch. I stayed awake at night playing through the scenarios....what if we labeled the sale price on the merchandise and a customer went up to purchase it and the original price rang up? (Ha, in retrospect, this seems like small things to keep me up at night, but I am obsessed with being as buttoned up as possible).
I decided to create an inventory spreadsheet and determine my mark down prices there first. I didn't do an across the board "everything 40% off" because my margins on some items vary. So, I literally went through every single item to see what I purchased it for, and what I could discount it for. (Yes, likely a rookie move to spend that much time but I wanted to be responsible about the mark downs and make them fair and enticing for my customers).
A day before the sale actually kicked off, the staff and I tag teamed to do the mark downs. I would call out a set of sale items. A team member would add a pink dot with the reduced price. At the same time, I would manually reduce the item in our point of sale system. We did this one by one. Yes, I'm sure there is a more automated way to make these reductions, but this was the best way for me to make sense of it this time around.
We invited all of our customers to a VIP pre-shopping event the evening before the sale kick off. I wanted to give our loyal shoppers an opportunity to have access to the reduced merchandise first. We served wine (any opportunity for wine!) and apps and socialized while guests shopped.
The sale has been a great opportunity to clear space in the shop in preparation for the fall merchandise. At the ending of the first week of the sale, enough inventory had cleared that we decided to totally change up the entire look of the store. We flip flopped the soft from one side to another.
We created a seating vignette with the Palm Beach Vintage chairs and our awesome Nova Chandelier.
Styling means everything. For the longest time, we had the chandelier sitting at the floor level and it was hard to appreciate it's lines. Once we hung it from the ceiling front and center, it sold within a week.
We've also decided to bring a little extra glam to our back room. We previously coined this as the "lake house" room because of it's rustic displays. Now, it's black and chic and glamorous for the fall.
Now we're ready to move into the autumn season. We'll continue to put out new inventory as we grow closer to the holiday season!
|Front door wreath at Vivid Hue Home|
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