Transitioning away from the Holiday season.
Welcome to the Material Retail Dumps podcast. If you've listened to us before, thanks so much for coming back. If it's your first time listening, welcome Material Retail Dumps is a short form podcast with briefly valuable content for independent retailers. As business owners, we don't have time for a 30 minute lesson with a ton of banter. We get straight to the meat of the topic and aim to give you actionable information and will help you optimize your retail operation and make more money every day. Welcome to Material Retail Dumps, episode 18. It's, uh, December 22nd. Just wanna wish everybody a very happy holiday. Whichever holiday you do celebrate, you celebrate any, it's always a fun time of year, especially in retail. We're in the middle of the busiest week of the year. It's Thursday, and uh, the setup going into Christmas is pretty nuts. Christmas is on Sunday, so we could have a really, really busy Thursday, Friday, and potentially Saturday.
Saturday might not be so busy. Um, but definitely this, this, uh, this setup with, uh, Thursday and Friday, um, you know, could possibly make it by far the busiest two days of the year for many retailers. So, uh, you know, good luck in the next two days and, um, if you're listening to this after Christmas, hopefully you're well rested and, uh, you know, we're moving into January. Um, so moving into January, you know, things change, right? Um, and that's what this episode's gonna be about. It's, it's about transitioning away from, you know, Christmas holiday peak sales and into January. January. And retail is notoriously slow, um, specifically for fashion retailers. Um, especially if you're in a colder climate. If you're in New York or New Jersey, I feel bad for you in January, if you're in Florida, might not be as bad. A lot of people come down there for the, uh, winter, but, um, you know, January's no fun.
So what can we do in January? What are we supposed to do in January? We know we're not supposed to do the same thing we do in December. We're not supposed to just go out there and say like, oh, 15% off the whole store, get your last minute holiday gifts, come, you know, get dressed up for New Year's parties and holiday parties and things like that. That is not the playbook that we need to take. The playbook that we find that works the best for January is sale, sale, sale, sale. And it's really a way for you to get rid of, um, a lot of the stuff that didn't sell during the holiday season. Um, everybody has that, that merchandise that, you know, just doesn't sell. Um, so it's just super important to just put it on sale and get rid of it. And when I said put it on sale, I'm not saying put the whole store 15% off.
I'm saying take item specific, markdowns. Take these, you know, group of 12 chunky sweaters that haven't sold, and let's put 'em 50% off. Let's take all those holiday sparkle dresses and get 'em on sale. All the snow boots that are maybe haven't sold yet, let's put 'em on sale, even though it's not even the, you know, barely the winter yet. But let's, uh, let's just start cleaning things out because we need to be ready for spring. You know, come March 1st, that store's gotta look like spring. That store's gotta feel like spring. Once the customer feels the warm sun in her
Face face, she is not gonna wanna touch her sweater. And if you go into March with goods from November and October, those goods are basically worthless. So if you didn't sell it for half off in January, you probably won't even be able to sell it for 70% off in March or April. So it's just super important to do that. Now, one big thing that we see that retailers sometime miss, and it's very important to just get right, is the signage that you put in your store. So it's great that you're having a sale, but it's even better when you put up a huge red sign in your windows that everybody that's driving by sees it. And when I say big, I mean big. I mean, let's get a six foot wide sign by, by four feet tall. Let's make it super big. Let's make it in your face, let's make it obnoxious.
Can you do the same thing on your websites? Let's get those big sale banners up. Let's start marking things down. Show people these, you know, items are 50% off. Feature 'em on your homepage. Don't be shy. Don't be shy at all. This is the time of year where people are not necessarily looking for fashion. There's not a reason to shop. You gotta give them a reason to shop, and you also need to get rid of the merchandise that you're holding past Christmas. Now, this definitely does not apply if you are not necessarily a, you know, fast fashion brand or even any, any sort of fashion brand. If you're a shoe store, you gotta be a little careful if you're, you know, toy store, you gotta be a little careful kids shop, things like that. You gotta be careful. But if you are a fashion retailer, fast fashion retailer, or if you sell any type of goods that just go bad after a certain period of time, goods with the, you know, short-ish shelf life, you wanna be very aggressive in those first few weeks of January, it'll set the tone for the entire season.
And it's gonna do a lot of the things that we spoke about in previous episodes, such as freeing up cash for, you know, the next months. And whether you use that cash to pay your payroll pay rent, or, you know, most importantly, go buy new merchandise for the spring. That's gonna sell at full markup. Um, you're now going into the, you know, the busy season. You're gonna be going into the busy season in March, April again. And, um, it's just a time of year where you don't wanna have the baggage from the previous season, and now is the time to get rid of it. So, so again, let's just put stuff on sale. Let's tell our customers that the things are on sale and let's just scream it from the rooftops. Send emails, send texts, invite your customers for, you know, private shopping events with, you know, items that are deeply discounted, uh, things like that.
If a customer comes into your store looking to return a gift that they got, you know, no problem, of course they can return it, but let's make sure we let that customer know that, you know, before you leave that store with your refund, maybe you wanna just check out these, you know, three racks that are 80 off. Um, and again, the goal is not to sell good merchandise at a cheap price, but the goal is to sell merchandise that we did not sell in the holiday season for whatever we could get for it, because we were expecting to sell that merchandise at full markup pre-Christmas if it didn't sell in the run up to Christmas, black Friday, all that stuff. If all those things didn't get that practice sell, what are the chances it sells in January or February? I'd say slim. So, yeah, that's basically it. Um, we'll leave it at that. Happy holidays everybody. I'm looking forward to next week where we're gonna bring the focus back to e-commerce and just talk about ways we can make some more money online. Thanks so much everybody. Happy Holiday.