2018 is rapidly approaching, and you've probably started a list of New Year's Resolutions you plan to accomplish. Have you started one for your c-store, however? The start of the new year is the best time to take a look at your inventory and find areas that you could improve upon or overhaul altogether.
To remain competitive and to keep your c-store fresh and up to date with the latest trends in convenience shopping, you should seriously consider overhauling your inventory. The beginning of the new year is the perfect time since you'll have all of the sales data from the previous year in a convenient, concise package. This data will help you make your decisions once it comes time to do an overhaul of your product selection.
The first step to your overhaul should be to analyze sales data from the previous year. Overall, was it a good year compared to last or did your sales take a slump? As you probably know, many factors contribute to the sales at a c-store such as competition, marketing efforts, and prices. For our purposes, we're only focusing on product sales.
When looking at the sales data for 2017, doesn't anything catch your attention? You should be able to identify products that aren’t selling well compared to previous years. Once you determine your low-sellers, ask yourself “Why do I still stock this?” The answer may surprise you. It could be because it’s a personal favorite of yours or because you already spent a significant amount of money stocking it in the first place. The best thing to do is to put personal bias aside and think of the customer first. If people aren’t buying it, get rid of it.
Also, you should consider the products that are selling extremely well and try to figure out why they did so well in the previous year. Had you stocked them for a while and they have had a steady increase in demand? Were they new products that you wanted to try? Identifying the attributes of these products will help you in finding new inventory items to stock.
Pay Attention to the Competition
You can do some competitor research to see the products that they are having success with. Take a walk down their aisles and look at the types of products they have well-stocked and the items they have very little of. A quick note here: just because they haven't very little of a particular product type doesn't mean it isn't a good choice as many factors could affect this including displays, store layout, and advertising.
Look at this is a means to gather some inspiration and ideas for what your store could do better regarding inventory. Customers love seeking out the latest products and snacks, and social media has only made increased their demand for new items. Be sure that you are keeping up with industry trends, stocking the best products for your market and 2018 is sure to be an excellent year for your c-store!