Posted by: Brian Hibbs on August 10, 2008
For the dozen or so of you who care about such things, in our last installment I discussed taking some 1400 items off the racks when the POS system says “Hey, that doesn’t sell!”
“But, Brian,” some asked, “What are we going to do with 39 Avengers?!?” Er, no, wait, the question was about 1400 removed-from-stock books, same diff.
Well, we have a sale, I guess.
My wife gets invited to Nordstrom’s “Customer appreciation sales” which is like a pre-sale sale for Nordstrom’s “best” customers (she’s not actually one of those, but my stepmother is, so…), and I thought it was a great idea to try and emulate.
So, we invited all of our subscribers (box customers, whatever you call them locally) to a private, pre-opening sale for two hours this morning. Half off the stock I wanted gone, and if you bought like 10 or more books, it could go up to 60% off.
The weather was deeply against us this morning — SF has been ucky thick fogbound for the last 10 days or so, so when it was a GLORIOUS summer day today I knew we wouldn’t have as many people as I would have liked. We only had about 20% of the people invited actually show up. Which, actually, is a good response rate, don’t listen to my whining.
I was hoping for about 20% of this stock to go away during our two hour sale, and I think we got closer to 15%, so I can live with it.
That’s still 85% left though!
I’m going to start filtering the remaining books into the Sale boxes over the next week or so (in fact, I think I’m going to temporarily remove the Starter Sets from the sales floor to accommodate the volume I want to put out at once), and I think I can get rid of another half of them within 60 days or so. The final, what is that, about a third, will trickle out over the next year or so. We’re down to virtually nothing left of the “Let’s not even count this in the first place, and remove it now” pruning I did BEFORE we put in the POS, so that seems like reasonable timing. And, because I’m using color coded labels, I’ll know in a year what are the REAL dregs that should be donated away or even left on the curb for recycling, as need be.
It is NOT possible to deal in physical goods (retail or wholesale) and not have some spoilage and leftover and just plain unsalable junk. The key question is in MANAGING that junk.
I suddenly realized that I can get most of a column out of this, can’t I, so I’ll shut up there. In theory, expect to see more on this in TILTING on CBR on Friday…
Anyway, I’m hot and tired and sweaty, moving all of those boxes take a lot out of ya’! Off to the showers!