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  • #967184
    fav
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    Hi I’m Fav from the Gold Coast,

    I started a ladies boutique in July 2009, knowing very little about running a boutique. With my trade as a dressmaker and love for fashion I was convinced it will work out well. My hubby and I took over the lease of a failing clothing store in a new shopping centre. I knew what I wanted to improve, the quality of clothing and the decor of the shop.

    The tricky part is that about 90% of my orders is indent orders, which I had to order 3-4 months in advance. The only advice I received was from the fashion agents (they needed to make a sale), and I ordered too much stock. Now I have a problem with overstocking. Does anyone know what I can do with the excess stock?

    I can do with advice on running a boutique too. I will ask more questions later.

    Thanks for this opportunity.
    Yours sincerely,
    Fav

    #1024349
    Barb
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    • Total posts: 144
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    Hi Fav,

    Good for you on opening your own clothing boutique. My only suggestion for getting rid of your excess stock (bearing in mind that I have no idea about the fashion or retail industries!!) would be to first ask if the supplier could possibly take some of the stock back, maybe for credit? Secondly, if there’s another boutique similar to yours that might be able to purchase the stock from you, or possibly selling it online (either an online store that you might set up for your boutique or another online store – not sure if I can mention it on here, but you know the most popular one!!!).

    I hope your business goes well – good luck and welcome to the forum!!

    Regards,

    #1024350
    businessjett
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    • Total posts: 5
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    Hi Fav,

    I’m new to the group too so that almost makes us cousins :-)

    I’m a business consultant and assist businesses that need assistance with all sorts of challengers.

    Off the cuff have a sale and sell them for cost, or start an ebay store and sell them for cost on that. Depending on the total volume and value of the stock you may also need to sell some items below cost just to get yourself out of a jam.

    Good luck and let me know how it goes.

    fav, post: 28756 wrote:
    Hi I’m Fav from the Gold Coast,

    I started a ladies boutique in July 2009, knowing very little about running a boutique. With my trade as a dressmaker and love for fashion I was convinced it will work out well. My hubby and I took over the lease of a failing clothing store in a new shopping centre. I knew what I wanted to improve, the quality of clothing and the decor of the shop.

    The tricky part is that about 90% of my orders is indent orders, which I had to order 3-4 months in advance. The only advice I received was from the fashion agents (they needed to make a sale), and I ordered too much stock. Now I have a problem with overstocking. Does anyone know what I can do with the excess stock?

    I can do with advice on running a boutique too. I will ask more questions later.

    Thanks for this opportunity.
    Yours sincerely,
    Fav

    #1024351
    Jake@EmroyPrint
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    Hey Fav,

    A friend of mine who owns a clothing store was in the exact same position around 6 months ago.

    After a few “sales” and a ruthless business adviser she was able to move the stock and turn the business around.

    I’ll see if I can get her to join the forums for you, she may have some good advice.

    Jake

    #1024352
    fav
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    • Total posts: 22
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    Hi,

    Thanks for all your replies. The fashion suppliers are really tough. They allow only a small period for cancellations. After that, they expect you to receive the stock and pay for it on time. One or two agreed to put me on a list where they will skip me if an item is short. It can be 4-8 items of an whole order. I did ask if other boutiques can take over some of my stock, but they wouldn’t help me there. Some offered a payment plan, but paying is not my problem.

    I tried to sell some on ebay, but it didn’t seem profitable. I will look into an ebay store.

    Every month we have sales, and stock is moving, but the new orders keep arriving. At the moment the cost of my stock is over $70000. I should have only half of that. Some is in boxes in my storeroom.

    I appreciate your replies,
    Fav

    #1024353
    fav
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    • Total posts: 22
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    Emroy, post: 28802 wrote:
    Hey Fav,

    A friend of mine who owns a clothing store was in the exact same position around 6 months ago.

    After a few “sales” and a ruthless business adviser she was able to move the stock and turn the business around.

    I’ll see if I can get her to join the forums for you, she may have some good advice.

    Jake

    Hi Jake,

    Thanks for the reply. I would love it if you can put me in touch with your friend. She might have valuable advice for me.

    My email is: [email protected]

    Thanks a mil,
    Fav

    #1024354
    Accounts Studio
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    • Total posts: 516
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    Hi
    Maybe you could pick out some of the items of old stock and blend it in with the new. With the rest – maybe have a big ‘seasonal change’ sale either at the store, or at a nearby market or centre – give out heaps of brochures, advertise in the local paper – come up with an eye catching angle to the sale to bring traffic in – you could maybe move a lot of stock that way. Otherwise maybe try approaching ozsale? They are an online newsletter based weekly channel that a lot of people use to move excess stock. You might find you just have to take a loss on the stock this time if you want to move it quickly.

    #1024355
    Accounts Studio
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    • Total posts: 516
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    PS There was a really good UK show on foxtel last year called Mary Queen of Shops where this lady helped retail stores get rid of old stock and revamp themselves – may be worth doing an internet search to see whether you can view any of the shows online or get any info from their website.

    #1024356
    fav
    Member
    • Total posts: 22
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    Hi Sophie,

    Thanks for the advice. I have all sorts of sales every month, but the stock is not moving fast enough. I will look into Ozsale. First time I hear of it. I did see Mary, just before I opened my shop. It was brilliant and that show really motivated and convinced me to open my own.

    My young labels move fast. It is the smart, formal and work wear which is sitting. The costs is higher and I find that it only sells when it is on sale. I think only about 10% of my customers buy these labels. I stopped ordering any of them, but the agents are trying to concince me that I have to order more for the next season. Fortunatly I found storerooms where they sell excess stock of similar labels which I can pick up when I need it. I keep ordering the younger labels because they sell fast and it is paying my rent.

    I will let know what happens next.

    Kind regards,
    fav

    #1024357
    27cameron
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    • Total posts: 2
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    Fav,

    Hi, Cameron here.

    Have you heard about or considered the possbiliity of Bartercard?. Perhaps you could use it as a medium to sell the older stock and inturn use the trade dollar component on services such as Accounting, Legal, etc ,etc – the useage can be endless. It may be right for you?

    Hope this advice is of some use!

    Cheers,

    fav, post: 28756 wrote:
    Hi I’m Fav from the Gold Coast,

    I started a ladies boutique in July 2009, knowing very little about running a boutique. With my trade as a dressmaker and love for fashion I was convinced it will work out well. My hubby and I took over the lease of a failing clothing store in a new shopping centre. I knew what I wanted to improve, the quality of clothing and the decor of the shop.

    The tricky part is that about 90% of my orders is indent orders, which I had to order 3-4 months in advance. The only advice I received was from the fashion agents (they needed to make a sale), and I ordered too much stock. Now I have a problem with overstocking. Does anyone know what I can do with the excess stock?

    I can do with advice on running a boutique too. I will ask more questions later.

    Thanks for this opportunity.
    Yours sincerely,
    Fav

    #1024358
    mtpocket
    Member
    • Total posts: 49
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    HI!
    I was about to suggest bartercard myself. I think it’s a good place to get rid off excess stock, but make sure that you aware of the fees and so on, before you enroll make sure it’s for you. It is a great way to generate some extra income/new leads/ exposure , but this is like points on your credit card you can only use them at certain places and for sure can’t pay your mortgage with it.

    #1024359
    fav
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    • Total posts: 22
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    Hi Cameron,

    Bartercard is foreign to me. Please explain.

    Thanks,
    fav

    #1024360
    Mark Prosser
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    • Total posts: 43
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    i don’t use bartercard myself but see http://www.bartercard.com.au – however i’m not sure if there should be further comments about this.

    I think trying to sell your clothes online is going to be a big waste of time for little return personally. You should be using the space you already have to it’s maximum

    I used to work in Retail and have around 15 years experience in various positions including management. I’m no expert but from what I’ve seen is that the Product goes through certain pricing lifecycles.

    New stock – 1 – 4 weeks – full price, rarely any discounts or sales.
    Old stock – 4 – 8 weeks – start discounting, say 10% off.
    Older stock – 8 – 12 weeks – heavy discounting, say 25% off.
    Dead stock – 12 – 16 weeks – 50%, 75% to get rid of it.

    Stock takes – do them weekly, and keep a database so you know exactly what your clothes are costing you the longer you hold on to them. I can explain this further if necessary.

    Retail space – look at your total sales and use that to generate a floor plan of exactly what is selling and where – this will help you discover ‘hot spots’ in your store – use this areas to feature new stock or sales. Change them regularly.

    Keep a customer database – call them when you have new stock or a sale, or send them something in the mail. Keep your customers informed.

    These suggestions probably won’t help you where you are right now, but it’s something to think about for future stock.

    Cheers,

    Mark.

    #1024361
    fav
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    • Total posts: 22
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    Hi Mark,

    Now that is practical advice that I can use. I read a few books on retail, but never read about the lifecycles of products. It makes sense.

    We have decided to have a week long Summer Clearance. We had a sale a while ago and we will markdown the discounted stock too. I am not sure if I should remove the winter stock that arrived or just discount that too. I know exactly the age of the stock, because we barcode everything. I can select the older stock for higher discount.

    Last week I created 10% off gift certificates for my customers which they can use on their next full-priced purchase.

    Hopefully all of this will help to get rid of most stock. It will kill my GP% though.

    Thanks for all the help, much appreciated.
    fav

    #1024362
    King
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    Here are two suggestions

    1. I came across this site the other day – and saw they have a spot where you can register as a supplier http://www.overship.com.au/accounts/supplier_login.php
    Might just be the sort of site you need to get out there and move stock.

    2. SMS vouchers – perhaps look at getting prospects mobile numbers and then send hot sales – stuff for one day only at you biggest discounts. Designed to get people in-store.You can get numbers from your customers list or via optin via posters, fliers ads etc. Cheap and can be very effective. PM me for details if interested.

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