Palmer Retail Solutions Blog

Clearing the Clearance Rack: How to Move Products Quickly

Posted by Kathy Heil on Jun 13, 2018 2:00:05 PM

AdobeStock_73111189Clearance racks are important in retail, although not ideal. They help move outdated and unsold products out of the store to make room for new products. They also give you one last chance to recoup some of your original investment in that merchandise. That’s two good reasons to make sure your clearance rack is designed to sell.

So, here are some tips to help move clearance items quickly. 

Before the Sale

In an ideal world, products never make it to a clearance rack. So ask yourself, are you doing everything you can to showcase seasonal items to ensure they sell at full price? Despite your best efforts, sometimes an item just isn’t as tempting as you thought it would be, or maybe you over-ordered. It happens to every retailer, which is why planning your clearance area should be part of your overall merchandising plan.

It’s Not the “Space of Shame”

If you think of products destined for clearance as unwanted failures or discards, your attitude will inevitably be reflected in how you present them. Forget that! Clearance space is, in fact, the land of opportunity for bargain-conscious shoppers. So make it a destination in your store — though, of course, not a primary one.

You may want to display sale items in more than one place. This is especially true if you have small, inexpensive things that you can offer as impulse buys at your cash register. With a fun sign and a BOGO offer, they’ll move right out.

Speaking of signage, remember that red is the most “arresting color,” ideal for helping customers spot your clearance rack. Experienced retailers recommend using dollar amounts on your signs — this bin $20, this shelf $10 — rather than “25% off.” That way, shoppers don’t have to calculate what items cost, and they are instantly prepared to spend whatever the sign says.

Feed Their Inner Bargain-Hunter

Discounted pricing is a must to make those clearance items fly off the shelves. There are two schools of thought here:

  1. Start with a modest discount, then increase it weekly.
  2. Go big right off the bat, with an irresistibly deep discount.

What else gets things moving?

  • Arrange items by price (with signage as noted above), to make decision-making easy for shoppers.
  • Arrange items by size, if relevant, too.
  • Create a “grab bag” bin of assorted small items at a single cost.
  • Bundle items. BOGO is a proven winner, whether you couch it as “Buy One, Get One Free” or “Two for $10.” If you have a lot of some relatively inexpensive item, offer “Buy One, Get Two Free” to move more of them faster. Or bundle related items with a single sale price.
  • Create a special clearance space for seasonal items before the season is over. That way, shoppers can not only save money, they’re getting an extra dose of instant gratification because they can use the item(s) now. So practical!

Finally, consider promoting new clearance opportunities to your customers (or certain segments) via email or social media. But only if it won’t dilute or damage your brand reputation. If you’re worried about being seen as a “bargain” brand, stick to in-store clearance promotions.


Topics: Customer Experience, Retail Experience

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