Popular Fashion Retailer Tackles Excess Inventory with Help From ReStore for Retail

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Even esteemed brands encounter challenges in clearing inventory.  For one big-name fashion retailer in particular, a major change was necessary to clear out excess inventory, boost sales, and breathe new life into a core set of under-performing stores. Here’s how Hilco Global’s ReStore for Retail helped them do it. 

Background 

This leading retailer has decades of experience in the fashion market and currently operates hundreds of locations throughout the U.S. Like many similar brands, this fashion retailer was burdened with excess inventory that was eating into profits and taking up valuable space in the stores. To deal with this surplus inventory, the company turned to the ReStore for Retail platform in hopes of more efficiently directing shoppers to clearance merchandise and improving sales.

Challenges 

The main challenge the brand needed to address was the abundance of older inventory and its impact on overall sales at under-performing stores across multiple major markets. This older clearance merchandise had been held for multiple seasons and was a drain on financials. 

“Clearance is always an afterthought,” said Hilco Global’s Senior Project Leader. “It’s not deemed to have the same value as the rest of the merchandise in the store, so it’s often forgotten. It’s buried in the back of the store. It’s not given the same attention that new, fresh, season-appropriate merchandise might have.”

Some of the obstacles preventing adequate excess inventory sales included:

  • Unpredictable yo-yo discounting on items like clearance merchandise
  • Insufficient clearance promotional signage in stores
  • Lack of care and cohesion in how excess inventory was displayed

As a consulting project leader, he had full reign to optimize on-the-floor displays and signage, and for that, he turned to ReStore for Retail and its virtual store management platform

Solution 

The brand's store execution challenges were mainly a merchandising one, which meant ReStore for Retail was an ideal platform for coordinating strategic improvements across stores. 

To achieve the goals of improved promotional signage and clearance displays, Hilco project and retailer teams used ReStore for Retail to implement a three-step process that could be executed and monitored without the need for in-person oversight. The first step was to document, analyze, and report on current issues regarding clearance inventory. From there, the project leader assigned tasks to stores and used visual validations through the ReStore for Retail platform to monitor completion. Finally, he used reporting tools to monitor the progress and outcomes of the in-store changes. 

Results 

Bringing on ReStore for Retail allowed the fashion retailer to execute consistent discounting across stores, revamp visual merchandising efforts, and optimize clearance displays all without the need for constant travel between stores. With the ability to monitor execution across storefronts, the brand saw a 9.7% improvement in all sales and a 14.6% increase in transactions, including boosts in store traffic and conversions.

“Now we can see what a store looks like in real-time, and I can look at pictures and say, ‘well, that’s not right, you need to fix that.’ … It’s near instantaneous. It’s made the efficiency of running these operations so much easier,” said the Senior Project Leader. 

These results were achieved by leveraging ReStore for Retail so operational leaders were able to see how stores and displays were set, how much clearance inventory was on the floor, and whether each store was adhering to assigned brand strategies around signage and clearance area displays. This enables them to quickly communicate with individual store managers and give direct feedback on merchandise displays and request modifications as needed. 

Key Takeaways 

For big fashion brands, excess inventory is usually a symptom rather than a problem itself. This retailer knew it had to overhaul its approach to visual merchandising on clearance items to encourage more sales. However, doing so across so many stores would present some major challenges in terms of execution and consistency. 

Some notable takeaways from their experience:

  • It pays to put care and attention into less profitable areas of the store, especially when it comes to visual efforts that make an area more inviting, shoppable, and efficient.
  • Visual validation is a must to monitor completion store-wide and should be used in conjunction with empirical sales data and analytics.
  • It’s important to document the process and progress of visual merchandising changes to see exactly what modifications are needed to see a positive result.

Struggling with excess inventory? Turning things around could be as easy as changing how you promote and display merchandise in your stores. Contact us to talk about your own challenges and what sorts of visual merchandising solutions could help.

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