There are many lessons all of us can learn from living a year with the Covid 19 pandemic, not least in the UK’s hard hit retail sector. Changes to the high street, consumer trends and increases in online competition has made the last few years incredibly difficult for retailers with some simply not able to weather the pandemic storm on top. 2020 was the year we bid farewell to some of our high street favourites including fashion giants Oasis and Warehouse as well as the iconic department store Debenhams in December 2020.
Many retailers are still managing to put one foot in front of the other but have had to adjust their sails and tighten up their practices to ensure survival. Stocktaking is a vital part of this puzzle and Covid 19 has taught us a lot this last year on the importance of effective stock management:
Minimising Stock Loss is Vital
When things are running tight, you simply cannot afford to waste margins through stock loss such as theft, human error or distribution issues. Having a close handle on your stock levels at all times through effective stock taking practices is the only way to identify where these losses are happening and taking remedial action to ensure your retail business can continue to thrive.
Deal with Delays
Global stock movement has been significantly reduced due to Covid-19 restrictions over the last year. It is of course hard to manage stock levels in the face of such unprecedented changes but undoubtedly those businesses who had good stocktaking in place were able to make quick decisions and are now in a position to sell. Those that weren’t prepared are facing longer out of the market whilst waiting for stock to arrive. Stocktaking and the information is generates for your business is essential in making more informed, better and ultimately quicker decisions.
Free Up Capital
With companies increasingly having to make savvy decisions about their future – including shifting to online systems and selling – now is not the time to have your working capital tied up in stock. Accurate stocktaking can bring you right up to date with latest demands and trends so that you can order and hold stock at just the right level rather than being over stocked or sold out and retain your working capital for investment into the business.
Stocktaking is just as important for online businesses
This last year has seen many businesses switch to online servicing to boost revenue – from the biggest names and chains to small town independents offering a new ‘click and collect’ service – the change has been rapid. The benefit is of course that not only can you continue to service existing customers but it potentially opens up your store to a whole new customer group reached online. It may take a while to get to grips with the new buying trends when switching to online, one way to stay ahead of the game is to have the best stocktaking practice in place to ensure you can meet demand as and when it shifts.
If you’d like to talk to us about improving your retail stocktaking then visit https://www.abacusvaluers.co.uk/our-stocktaking-services or call our team on 01637 874609.