For many retailers Christmas really is the dream, with the vast majority of us heading to the shops or frantically searching online to find that perfect present for a loved one at this time of year.
Although Christmas sales figures slumped slightly last year (£79.7 billion spent vs £83.13 billion in 2019), due in no small part to the pandemic, predictions are that 2021 will see the biggest festive spend in history!
So, what’s the only thing standing between you and a rather jolly Christmas? It is of course, stock availability! Quite simply, if you’ve not got it, you can’t sell it – no matter what time of the year it is!
The availability of stock has of course been a big topic throughout the past 12 months; car manufacturers have been struggling with the supply of semi-conductors (you are very lucky if you’re getting a car for Christmas), whilst the ‘Ever Given’ blocking the world’s largest trade canal certainly didn’t help matters either!
Looking forward, there have been bold predictions of a wide range of stock shortages over the coming months; electrical retailer AO World has predicted that shortages of products over Christmas will hit its profits this year, while shoppers will face further painful price rises as a result of limited availability.
It may even affect our Christmas turkeys with Tesco currently at loggerheads with drivers and facing potential strike action (you will have likely heard about the limited number of available HGV drivers and the impact it’s having on a wide range of supply chains in recent months).
Where should your retail business be right now?
A stocktake is often seen as a single event; you get someone in, they count everything up and then leave. It should actually be much more than this in order to be effective. When it comes to Christmas you should undertake a stocktake:
- Before the busy period begins to ensure you know exactly where you stand and where you’re starting from.
- Frequently during the Christmas sales period to ensure you are able to quickly identify any stock loss issues or items that are becoming unavailable.
- Once the Christmas sales have been completed so you know what stock you are carrying and can learn in order to improve next year.
This means that by now (late November) you should have already completed your early audit and have begun conducting your more frequent stock checks as sales ramp upwards!
These will ultimately give you the clearest understanding of what you have in stock to sell, identify any stock loss issues (which can significantly hamper your bottom line) and highlight any further stock purchases you need to make in order to maximise your opportunities.
Effective stocktaking is simply the best present you can give your retail business this Christmas!
For more information on how our retail stocktaking services can help increase your revenue, please get in touch with our team by calling 01637 874609 or visiting https://www.abacusvaluers.co.uk/retail-stocktaking