Holiday Hangover: What to Do with Remaining Seasonal Inventory?

Lisa Starr
How to get rid of holiday spa salon inventory in the new year

The holiday season has come and gone, but you may not have the same sentiments about some of your holiday inventory.  

After conducting your year-end product inventory count, you likely have a collection of random retail leftovers that don’t make sense on your shelves anymore.  So, what can you do all of it?

You can start the process by dividing the products into two camps:  those that you may want to keep to sell now or in the future, and those that you don’t.  

Products to Use Again
Obviously, if you’ve created gift baskets or holiday offers using regular retail products, they can be dismantled. These products can be put back into inventory, and the baskets/ gift boxes can be stored to be used again next year.  These items should be carefully wrapped and packed away so that they can be kept clean and undamaged, and brought out again in November.  Products in this segment might include accessories, candles, note cards, cosmetic travel bags, and other gift items.

If you had a couple of products that were not necessarily seasonal and were top sellers, you may want to consider introducing them into your regular retail rotation, and eliminating a couple of older, slower-moving products.  Keeping your retail selection fresh and relevant is one of the keys to ongoing success to product sales in your salon. It’s important that your clients can rely on you for the staples, but it enhances the shopping experience when there are new finds on each trip.  

Products to Eliminate
Last season, you may have also retailed products such as bath and body products, makeup, or home fragrances which will continue to age over the summer, and may not be in saleable condition come the fall.  These are similar to the products you see in mass merchants and drug stores piled in bins by the checkout, with wildly discounted pricing.  While this may appropriate in a drugstore environment, it’s not ideal for a salon. Using this tactic may cheapen the quality of what you were featuring only a few weeks ago.  Some options for distributing these products include:

•    Give beauty-related products to a local beauty school, and taking a tax write-off
•    Offer products for free to a women’s shelter or support center
•    Allow staff take them home
•    Package non-holiday specific items with gift sets for Valentines or Mother’s Day

Knowing when to cut your losses is one of many attributes of being a good retailer. Don’t hold on to 5-6 random items that will sit forlornly on your shelves, hoping someone will buy them.  Get a start on your spring-cleaning early and free up shelf space for new products!


About the Author

Lisa Starr

Lisa Starr brings over 30 years of industry-specific experience as a consultant, educator and writer to Booker through GOtalk. Lisa also works for Wynne Business, a leading spa consulting and education company. Among other things, Lisa’s expertise lies in business operations and finances, sales and marketing, inventory management, human resource development, and business process improvement. She is a well-known speaker within the trade show circuit and is a frequent contributor to industry

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