Thursday, April 17, 2008

Impulse Buys Require In-Stock

Guaranteed, every woman reading this blog has faced the following scenario: On my lunch break, I dash to the local mall to grab a gift. Harold’s, a 43-store chain out of Dallas and a personal fave of mine, is having a store-wide sale. I zip in and nab two great shirts for the birthday boy—my father, turning 81.

Wow, great looking spring skirts and tops. Treat myself to an outfit instead of lunch nibbles? Why, that’s a win-win for the waistline no matter how you measure it. The skirt I like best is available in sizes 0, 2, 4 and 6…(maybe the 6 would work….) But no, the coordinating shirt is only available in L or XL. End result: Harold’s and my waistline both lose as I console myself at Moe’s.

Moral of the story: Retailers that don’t utilize store transfers to juggle sizes and keep sets in stock will lose all those impulse buys. Sure, I could have asked the sales associate to see if the shirt was available at another store, which she did quite efficiently on one of the items I was purchasing for my father. However, the nature of impulse buys is that, if it’s not in the store, by definition it can’t satisfy that spur-of-the-moment consumer whim.

Message to Harold’s: Guys you’re so close, push that POS inventory tool to the limit and bring those sets together—if not for me at your Raleigh, N.C. store, then for my friends in Atlanta, Nebraska or Texas.

Connie Gentry

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