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When Things Don’t Add Up

If you’ve spent any time in retail, then you understand the importance of keeping an accurate inventory. While much of the process today is automated, reducing quantities in real-time as merchandise is purchased, a business must still perform a hands-on review at least once annually, but is that sufficient? In short, no. Given that so many things can happen in the course of a year, chances are that something may go unnoticed that later proves detrimental, like losing a customer to a competitor because you didn’t have an item in stock.

To minimize the risk of this happening, why not get ahead of it by performing checks more regularly. Obviously the schedule will depend greatly on the number of products and how many employees you have at your disposal, but here are a few best practices:

What’s in the box?

Don’t be that person who scours the store looking for something, just to realize that it wasn’t actually received in the first place. When a package is delivered, ensure to go through the invoice and match each line with the corresponding unit. Not only will this simple step give you a better idea of what is available for sale, but it’ll serve as an important update for those customers waiting for their special order.


Unfortunately time is a commodity that is difficult to replace, so why use more than you need to? To improve your ability to perform inventory checks, try organizing the floor according to category (books, instruments, etc.). Additionally, by clearly defining similar items, you will likely receive less “where is this item” questions and be more readily able to assist other customer needs.

Complete a 100% inventory quarterly

Though technology has finally reached a price point where smaller establishments can afford it, perpetual systems are not perfect. Since it is only as good as the information you put in it, please make routine attempts to follow up with what you have on the shelves. By checking in quarterly, not only will your store look more tidy since items will be where they should, but you will be better positioned to replenish supplies when you are running low.

If you would like an audit of your current practices, please reach out to us. We can help you determine best practices and an inventory schedule for your business.


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