I have likened my current sale to a cleansing treatment!
Back when I was young and naive (just over three years ago before I opened my beautiful Shoe Garden), I ordered too many shoes in each size and chose some that haven’t been popular.
Annoyingly, I did that for a few seasons as I didn’t know better and, because one has to order so far in advance, it takes a while to cotton on and then change direction. Ah well.
Now that I’m older and wiser (!) after three fabulous years in business, I have reached a point where I wanted to move forward with less baggage … hence my most massive sale ever that is underway at the moment.
You know, I find it so stressful going “on sale”. I’m not a fan of marketing and I hate gimmicks. I have two sales a year, in January after I come back from my Christmas break, and in June to close off the end of the financial year.
The latter is hardest as I never know exactly when I will be going on sale. Truthfully, it depends on how my sales are going as the longer I can sell my gorgeous shoes at full price, the better. My mark-up isn’t huge; it’s industry average and I need every cent of it to cover the cost of my stock plus my other overheads such as rent, electricity, etc.
But then it comes to a point where sales are starting to slow, I start to fret, other businesses are going on sale amping up the pressure to join them and so I make the leap; sometimes, like this month, with just 48 hours notice to myself.
So I usually begin to give sale prices to customers two days beforehand as well, as I would hate for them to think badly of their Shoe Garden experience by realising that they paid full price just two days before my sale started. I think people appreciate it and it makes me feel better. After all, I’m not some faceless corporate or chain … I’m here (with darling CC!) all the time and am accountable for everything.
Some of my reductions this time around are pretty dramatic. That’s mostly if I only have one size left or it’s the last style or colour, or the shoe hasn’t been as popular.
I don’t have rolling sale prices either as an agent suggested to me the other day. Apparently, you start at 20% discounts and then increase to 30% and 40% in the following weeks. I think that’s so unfair for those who come at the start of the sale. Once I’ve marked something down for that particular sale, then that’s it.
I am very confident – and super excited – that my Spring/Summer 2015 range is my best ever. Woohoo! I have invested a lot of money as well as faith that the styles and colours I have chosen will sell well. I need lots of space (another reason a sale at this time is super useful) as these beauties will start to arrive next month in July and then come in huge waves throughout August, September and October.
So, yes, I’m feeling like I’ve gone through an enormous learning curve these past few years, am in detox right now to move out some older stock and can’t wait to refresh and re-energise with more styles, choices, colours and pricepoints for my gorgeous customers in the coming weeks, months and years ahead.
Apparently you can never get it completely right but I’m going to have serious fun trying!