Right now, it may seem impossible to think past today, but the world is still turning and so is your inventory, so you've got to be thinking about its future.
In this video podcast, Darren Schulte, NATSO’s vice president, membership, and Amy Toner, NATSO’s vice president, publishing and digital content, embrace Christmas in July with their discussion of seasonal merchandise.
After sharing some ideas for inventory to drive Summer sales, the two discussed seasonal merchandising best practices in today’s normal.
Some of the ideas shared included:
Proactively Work with Your Vendor Partners
Good vendor partners are your key to thrive as they need travel plazas to successfully sell their products in order to thrive themselves.
- Review your sales and/or inventory purchases with them to identify what’s successfully selling and then quickly unload what’s not turning as customer needs and demand have changed in a COVID-19 dominated world.
- Make plans to review vendor partners’ seasonal catalogs and order in September to mitigate inevitable supply chain delays and ensure you’ve got your seasonal mix for sale by early November.
- Work with vendor partners to learn the needs of your new customer bases as NATSO thinks RV, bus and fifth wheel customers are part of the foreseeable future.
Merchandising for the Upcoming Seasons During COVID-19
With economic uncertainty on everyone’s minds, it’s never been more important to stick to the basics and minimize your exposure to seasonally-themed goods that have limited shelf lives.
- When merchandising apparel for the Fall and Winter, buy timeless vests, pullovers and jackets and staples like scarves and driving gloves. We don’t anticipate many Ugly Christmas Sweater parties this year.
- Be a one-stop shop for travelers’ needs as they are trying to make fewer stops when they travel so they’re more likely to return to your location if they can achieve everything they need at the same time.
- Remember drivers have a harder time Christmas shopping than most so offer gifts, toys and stocking stuffers that you may be able to sell during other seasons to meet their needs and reduce your risk.
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