Managing inventory in December and January is a challenge for the best of retailers. It’s the time when you want to have enough inventory to accommodate all the last-minute holiday shoppers, but you don’t want to be left with so much product that you have to go to deep discounts after the holidays. In addition, you have to plan your January merchandise and sales strategy, in an effort to start the year off on a positive note.

It’s like having two stores in one space – the old, sale merchandise and the fresh, new merchandise. How do you showcase each and still succeed in having a clean, shopper-friendly atmosphere in your displays? This is a time when bin selling can be very effective. Try a few white or multi-colored bins to hold sale items. Bins are great because they give shoppers access from all sides, they can hold a lot of merchandise and they are easy to refill or move around the store. You can start with sale bins in the front of the store to attract after-holiday shoppers looking for bargains. When your new merchandise hits the sales floor, move the bins to the back of the store. Customers must pass through the current merchandise to reach the sale bins, and they may be attracted to the full-priced items along the way.

Adding just one more clothing rack or gondola can help to make old inventory look more attractive. Instead of jumbling and jamming all the sales merchandise onto a single rack, try giving it some “breathing room” with an extra round rack or shelving unit. Keep the product neatly displayed. Many times, those shoppers who just don’t like “digging” for merchandise will visit the rack if it looks appealing. Then use that extra rack or fixture to switch up displays as the New Year begins.