We were up 20% in sales in December from the previous year.
But I also spent the whole season replacing inventory. I wanted to see what would happen if I was fully stocked all the way through the season.
Flash forward to the floods of this week, and a huge drop in customer visits and sales, and -- coincidentally, many of the bills coming due from the Christmas surge.
Weirdly, I've found that I have a much less stressed store if I order heavily in the slow months, and tail back in the busy months. The opposite of what makes sense on the surface. Sure, it probably keeps sales lower on the busy months, but that is counteracted by sales probably being a bit better in the slow months. Everything seems to be paid for much more smoothly. (Bills more often come due during the busy months, and slacken in the slow months.)
Thing is, I actually had results from the heavy inventory buying -- so the situation is temporary and can be adjusted for. But I could have ordered all that inventory, and the weather that we had this last week could have been the weather we had the week before Christmas. Not a pretty possibility.
There were also some long term objectives in keeping my inventory up through the Christmas season. I knew that I wouldn't have to order as much in the rest of winter, which has been more or less true. As soon as I get this bulge of bills out of the way, I'll have clear sailing for awhile.
I also wanted to keep my new higher discount level with DC, which I've probably locked into for at least the next six months, by which time I'll be in the summer season. So I've probably saved myself hundreds, perhaps thousands, of dollars -- eventually.
And finally, I had a one month chance to order DC product for an extra 5% and I took that opportunity for ordering extra copies of the best-selling graphic novels, so that will also rebound to the bottom line -- eventually.
So a little short term pain for some long term gain.
But I think I'm going back to the old way of doing things. It's much less risky and stressful --
3 days ago