What Does Doing Inventory REALLY Tell You?

Find me a retailer who LIKES to do inventory, and I’ll show you a retailer who needs an intervention!  But, before you head to the head doctor, consider this.  Inventory tells you more about your store, store direction, store sales and personnel than anything other measurement tool you use.

My team and I have been doing inventory today.  We have at least one more day to count.  Then it all has to be entered into the computer to see what has walked out the door (UGH), what has gotten broken (OOPS) and what is in hiding (DAMN).  As we count we find things that sold exceptionally well…good buying I like to think.  Things that SHOULD’VE sold….silly customers missed ’em.  Things that died last year, still stayed dead this year….I didn’t REALLY buy that, did I?  This, I think teaches a retailer how NOT to make the same mistakes.  It gives a retailer a chance to see if maybe something sitting in the warehouse another year is okay sometimes.  What was too forward for Christmas ’10, was right on target for Christmas ’11.  Consider yourself a soothsayer.  Got a dud?  We are all allowed a percentage of duds.  It is the retailer who has more duds than winners that needs to consider changing direction.

And then there is your team.  When you’ve got a team that comes up with ideas to streamline the warehouse, speed inventory, redesign how you do things.  That is a team that is as committed to the success of your store as you are.  I have been VERY, VERY lucky to have always had folks working with me that always wanted to help improve how we do our job “behind the scenes.”  If it weren’t for my team, I would not be as good as I try to be each and every day.

With that said I look to 2012 with lots of optimism.  We have streamlined our warehouse, buried our duds so everyone thinks we are perfect year after year, cleaned our inventory so the ghosts that play with our computer on a regular basis will have to start anew, and we feel renewed to better serve our customers as we head into year FIVE.

Thank you customers, thank you team, thank you God for helping me have more winners than losers over the last 48 months!

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