How Retailers Will Win This Labor Day

Summer’s end is near and several retailers are already planning for the upcoming end of year holiday season. But before getting lost in that bustle, there’s one more hot selling opportunity for national retail sellers this summer - Labor Day weekend.

Labor Day is the last summer holiday when retailers can clear their shelves for new, fall inventory. They can also leverage the national holiday to increase sales due to the weekend boost of “Sales? I must spend more!” mentality that U.S. consumers undeniably possess.

Sure, we would all like to be off duty and actually enjoy the day dedicated to our fruitful labor. But, alas, there is no rest for the (retail) weary. Although it’s unlikely you can take a break during this sales frenzy weekend, we hope these five tips will make your hard work worth it.

1) Commit to banishing dead stock from your shelves.
Focus on promotions that will banish unwanted stock from your warehouse. With summer ending and bargain shoppers on the lookout, this will be a great time to clear out-of-season goods, making room for fresh new inventory. Analyze your inventory in a way that segments “must go!” goods from ones that could transition into the new season. Be honest with yourself about what you can really sell and always remember - extra inventory on your shelves is like cash you can’t spend. If additional discounts are required for non-transitional pieces, do what you can to liquidate them.

2) Offer a mystery “Grab Bag” tote to increase awareness and clear stock.
Struggling with creative ways to get rid of truly dead stock? For every item purchased, offer a surprise “Grab Bag” with various items. People love free stuff and you can promote the mystery surprise ahead of time through email, social media and in-store collateral. This can take place of traditional discounts and free shipping or can be an added bonus, introducing customers to products they might not otherwise try. If you’re hesitant to give inventory away, require a certain spending limit, assuring the value.

3) Kickstart promotions early to maximize sales.
Most consumers will be expecting special offers throughout the weekend, but the element of surprise could create an opportunity for increased sales. Start by introducing a longer promotion that begins before Friday, August 29. Reward early-bird shoppers with an additional discount.

Heavy promotion is required to make the most of a sale, so be sure to blast social media and other outlets with the notice. You’ll be able to get a head start on other retailers by snagging those spending dollars before consumers have had a chance to look at any other shops.

4) Pre-sell your upcoming fall product line.
If you’ve don’t have a lot of expired inventory to sell, and you’re not sure about heavily discounting items, we have another solution for you. Leverage the additional exposure to promote upcoming products. Larger retail brands will often do this to stay top-of-mind for consumers during the next season. Retailers such as J.Crew and Anthropologie have historically used Labor Day weekend to preview their fall line in addition to or in place of heavy discounts on summer wear. If you are excited about your next line of products, use the increased website and foot traffic to preview what you have planned.

Have any great tips that help you clear stock and get ready for the new season? We’d love to hear them! Share below in the comments section or reach out to us on Twitter at @StitchLabs.


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