Is it sale time again already? For some lingerie businesses, seasonal sales have become an all-year round event, early season, mid-season and end of season. It seems that as soon as we are out of one, we are going into the other and of course as one lingerie retailer does it, they all must follow suit, but this is something we don’t recommend.
The latest research has proven that some lingerie retailers are now actually loosing profits, customers and especially customers’ loyalty, as they have lost trust with those retailers though too many price reductions.
However, price competitiveness and offering great value for money and running regular value and service-based promotions are a great and much better way to entice new customers and drive additional sales.
Sales are often disliked for many reasons, but we should be looking at sale time as entirely different to promotions and events, which are now a way of life, making the one-off seasonal sale a thing of the past and certainly feel less unique to consumers.
So, let’s look at the seasonal sale again, as with the right planning and organisation your sale could still be one of the busiest and most profitable part of your season.
It’s never too early for a lingerie sale
It’s never too early to start thinking about slow lingerie lines, poor sellers and problem stock. Reviewing sales and product performance should be ongoing and throughout the season your stocks should be constantly reviewed and analysed. Planning for the sale can start many months in advance, as this is not only a time to clear out the bad sellers and old lines, but it’s also time to capitalise on higher footfall, sell your new regular lines as well as reducing all those “sale buys” that you bought a few months ago.
It’s always worth asking suppliers for any opportunities to clear out lines from their warehouse at greatly reduced prices. Sometimes it’s very tough to get strong product lines with good size availability, especially as lingerie manufacturers have kept their stock levels much lower over the last few years, however there is always something, so keep asking suppliers and see if they have any lines that you can buy cheaper, but be warned, buy carefully… It’s always a good idea to look for lingerie lines or brands that do not carry an RRP or that have limited distribution where you can set your own retail prices.
Preparation is key for a Lingerie Sale
Planning for the sale can begin many months in advance. This isn’t just a chance to clear out bad sellers and old lingerie but as stated before, it’s an opportunity to benefit from the higher footfall a sale brings you and to sell your new regular lines and capitalise on those lines you bought at a highly increased margin a few months ago. This sort of planning ahead, helps you maximise the sale period and ensure this period is not all about less profitability.
You can bring Lingerie lines into your business at an inflated margin with the view to reducing them for the sale. Just be aware that the trading standards require businesses to “price establish” for 30 days prior to the reduction otherwise you cannot legally show the original price and full reduction. It is always best to contact your local consumer direct helpline for updates in the law and further information.
Lingerie Stock Clearance
There is one certainty, clearing old lingerie stock doesn’t get any easier and if it didn’t sell in the first season, it most definitely won’t sell during the second. Keep reducing it until it goes during the first sale period and then right it off and donate to charity, otherwise it will: –
- Clog up your OTB (open to buy)
- Reduce your stock turn
- Reduce cash flow
- Tie up money in unsalable product
- Overload your stockroom whilst continuing to devalue
- Make your shop floor look untidy and distract from new season displays and strong product messages.
What to put in your Lingerie Sale?
You should already be regularly reviewing the performance of your product lines throughout the season, and if you are, you’ll already be aware of the worst sellers and lines destined for the red pen! These should join the lingerie sale rails along with any lingerie lines left over from any previous mid-season sales or events and any oddments that are remaining from good selling ranges.
Take this opportunity to tidy up and clear out the shop floor and stockroom, as these oddments of lingerie can often distract lead to a confusing merchandise message on the shop floor. Be aware of how your main high street and online competitors aggressively attack the sale, do not mess around. Start with a minimum discount of 25% off or a 1/3rd and follow with 50% off within 2 weeks. Some lines may have performed that badly they will need to go straight to 50% off. After a further one to two weeks, all remaining lines should be reduced to a price rather than a percentage off and should be merchandised accordingly. For example, all now £10. At this stage it is also beneficial to merchandise to size as this makes it far easier for the consumer to shop.
The high street multiple retailers clear their seasonal lines very aggressively so plan your sale to be in a tight effective time window that works for you in your area. Do not have your sale on for any longer than three to four weeks
Take Advantage of Additional Footfall
Lastly, get some new season lingerie lines delivered in time for the sale, as it’s a great opportunity to take advantage of the additional foot fall generated through your business at sale time. Customers might be tempted by the thought of a bargain but end up buying something beautiful from your new lingerie lines and at full price! So, ensure that the shop floor optimises NEW lines in a beautiful tempting manner.
Intimate Apparel offer a business consultancy service for lingerie retailers, so if you feel that your lingerie business might need some fresh ideas and direction, give us a call on 01702 291524