The weather outside is hardly frightening—there’s still a balmy breeze lingering, in fact—but now is the time to prepare your inventory for the high-volume holidays ahead.
It’s likely you’ll need more of your usual inventory items, but it’s certain you’ll also need to plan orders for new seasonal products. Before you order the supplies for that special cinnamon and spice sugar glow body polish or that moisture-infusing hair serum, you need to take stock.
Ideally, you should plan to place orders so holiday-related inventory arrives early in the season (no later than mid-November). This will elongate your retail sales period.
Spa managers may want to think about wellness-based products to pair with gift certificate sales. It pays to have those items handy, especially for walk-ins.
Salon managers may want to stock products that are a natural extension of hair care (no pun intended). For instance, some hair care product lines produce a selection of candles, and makeup retailers often have special holiday gift sets. And don’t forget body and hand lotion. These products can be placed in the nail department to complement mani-pedi services.
Have you given any thought to travel-sized products? Not only are they easy for travelers to carry back home—they’re also an affordable way to introduce current clients to new product lines and boost retail sales during later visits.
Here are some more tips to help you manage your seasonal inventory this year:
- Take Stock. Review last year’s sales and make note of what services and products sold well during the holidays. Looking at historical data can give you valuable insight into what may be popular this year. Reorder bestsellers while there’s still time to fill your shelves.
- Tag, You’re It! Invest time in clearly labeling the items you have in stock. This will keep your business running smoothly in the more hectic weeks of December, especially if you hire seasonal service providers. It also will reduce the number of questions employees need to ask as they look for specific items to fulfill a service, treatment or therapy.
- Perfect Together. Try putting products that will be used to deliver complementary treatments near each other so it’s easier to find and use them. It pays to eliminate any execution barriers when your schedule is booked solid in November and December.
- Connect the Dots. Automate the links between your inventory, point of sale, bookings and customer information. It will be well worth the investment and help make running your business during the holiday craze less frantic.
One parting thought. You may be preparing your inventory for an uptick in business as you ramp up for the most wonderful time of the year, but your customers will be shopping for holiday deals. Review your inventory list with this in mind and determine which items to feature in sales, how many to order, and how much you want to discount those items.
To learn more about how to prepare for the upcoming holiday surge, check out our Holiday Planning Guide.
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