I’m going to say something that goes against everything I have recommended for the past twenty years. For perhaps the first time in my life, I’m here to tell you that having too much inventory might just be a good thing. For now. For our current situation. The reason is that your inventory won’t spoil – it has no expiration date. Your inventory is now and will forever be a thing of value, whether sold, melted or traded. And, you own it.
The only time I’ve heard the quote “We’ll live off the fat of the land” was from John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men, which, ironically dealt with life during the depression. If there is any business to be in right now, other than surgical masks or hand sanitizers, it’s ours. The inventory you own will not be going out of style and you can live off of it for months or years.
You don’t sell meals at a restaurant or seats on an airplane; once their day is over, so is their opportunity. They will have a difficult time making up that business. But your customers are not going to stop getting engaged or married, or celebrating events. Yes, they may be taking the next couple of weeks off, and yes everyone is stressed, but they will be back. You will make up the lost revenue. You will have events again and celebrate with your customers. We’ve just hit the pause button.
I made a video several years ago that shows how to deal with your aged inventory through re-merchandising. I’m adding it here to show you that you can shuffle your inventory into different price points depending on what’s happening with the prices of metals and the perceived value of the inventory you own – which you should be living off of as things begin to get back to normal.
You can use the next couple of weeks to work on re-merchandising your stores, re-assorting and re-displaying your showroom and getting the inventory you own set up to be sold, at whatever price they might fit into. This is the time to live off of this inventory and to take it seriously. I feel bad for the suppliers whom we also need to support but if you need to generate cash, you have to sell down, not buy more. At the end of this debacle, weeks or months from now, as things get back to normal, it would be good for you to be in the same frame of mind of keeping your inventory lean, but for now, let’s deal with all of that cash that’s tied up in merchandise.
This is also the time to remove all memo from your showcases – because when you sell it, you will create an invoice. Sell what you own – and live off the fat of the land.
Here is a link to the original film Of Mice and Men, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nxb4Jb5B0pk
You’ll realize you don’t have it that bad. Then tell me about the rabbits, George. Tell me about the rabbits.