Will this holiday season be a good one for retailers? Well, if the National Retail Federation is right with its forecasting data, retailers should expect to see an increase in sales between 3.6 and 4 percent over 2016.
“Our forecast reflects the very realistic steady momentum of the economy and overall strength of the industry. Although this year hasn’t been perfect, especially with the recent devastating hurricanes, we believe that a longer shopping season and strong consumer confidence will deliver retailers a strong holiday season,” said NRF president and CEO Mathew Shay.
The “longer holiday season” is actually one day longer than last year. Christmas is on Monday this year, which gives last-minute shoppers a full weekend to get their shopping done. That extra day can make a difference in sales profits for retailers.
If NRF’s prediction is correct, retailers should take it as a positive signal to review their inventory management strategy.
An outside inventory management service can help. They can do a cycle count of popular items and help you identify what items should be stocked in advance of the holidays.
Cycle counting is a best practice strategy for improving inventory accuracy and revenue. The lull before the holidays is a perfect time to “take stock” of what’s on the shelves, not only to make sure you have enough popular items to meet demand, but also, to ensure that items aren’t lost due to in-store theft.
And it’s always good to do a comparison study of retail inventory reports to identify top sellers. That extra shopping weekend before Christmas is not the time to run out of stuff.
Take actionable inventory management steps now, before the holiday rush, so that your business is ready for a profitable holiday season.