There’s something about the arrival of March that makes winter feel like it’s slipped away overnight. Although it’s still often cold in March, psychologically for shoppers it’s time to start thinking about slinging out their winter woollies and purchasing brighter, lighter clothes. In charity shops the perfect opportunity arises to gain a peoples clear-outs of their previous season’s clothes and to have a full stock re-fresh in store. Many people think that charity shops can’t be as seasonal as the high street but with many shops storing stock, they can fit in with the seasons and when you enter them you can easily tell what the current season is.
Sometimes charity shops can have one up on the high street retailers by being able to react to seasons quickly (if stock has been stored) if a heatwave hits early or if snow comes unexpectedly. Although there are sometimes exceptions to following the seasons religiously. I have always taken the view that if a product is really good, it doesn’t matter what season it is from, a customer will buy it. It’s just that seasonal storing maximises the value of the product and then when you’re giving your store a seasonal refresh you’ve already got some great stock to merchandise with. A great seasonal tip I was once given from an experienced shop manager was to get a rail of winter coats out in August, I thought that seemed like a crazy idea when the sun is still shining but the thinking behind it made sense. A winter coat whether you’ve bought it from a charity shop or Debenhams, is an investment, it’s an item you’re probably going to be wearing for quite a few months so you will want your money’s worth and if we get in quick by showing the customer ours then we stand a high chance of getting the sale.
Tips for a seasonal refresh:
- Start with a sale to clear out all the winter stock
- Whilst the sale is on start processing your Spring stock ( get your high value items out – the investment buys, hold back on the vest tops and shorts)
- Plan out your layout
- Re- merchandise, either going for the traditional colour blocking or themed modules (florals, pastels, neons)
- Show off all your great stock with a window display