Thrift Industry Versus Retail Industry
Traditional retail solutions are designed for stores with a limited number of uniform products that arrive with UPC codes and are ready to put on the shelf. If these items don’t sell well, the retailer will discount them until they do. The few remaining items are then removed from the inventory.
In the thrift industry, diverse, unfamiliar products arrive every day. They must be identified, priced, stocked, and added to the inventory. More than half of these items will be pulled after a few weeks of selling. Traditional solutions are too cumbersome for non-uniform products that need to be constantly added and removed from the inventory.
Does your solution create items on the fly and automatically remove them from inventory after a few weeks of selling?
Most retailers have a small inventory (less than 10,000 SKUs). And since the products they sell are uniform, reporting is based on a few dimensions like department and category.
In the thrift industry, the number of SKUs can easily exceed 500,000. Attributes such as condition, discount color code, donation source, pallet number, and pricer must be accounted for. Adding these attributes to an item creates inventory bloat. That is, the same physical item must be redundantly stored multiple times with a different SKU.
Can your retail solution report on all of these attributes without an explosion of SKUs?
In POS systems, the SKU determines the price. So, when a price change occurs, all existing items need to be re-tagged or a new SKU is needed. Adding a new SKU for every price change creates inventory bloat. Maybe that’s why Goodwill doesn’t change prices very often.
A flexible pricing model allows businesses to adapt quickly to changing trends by offering promotions, having seasonal sales, and setting prices that optimize merchandise value and merchandise throughput. Price adjustments should be used often and aggressively to gain a competitive advantage.
Can your retail solution make price adjustments as often as you like without re-tagging merchandise and without inventory bloat?
Unreliable Inventory Quantities
One of the primary reasons to deploy a retail management solution is to control inventory. However, maintaining accurate item quantities is difficult. It requires disciplined processes including physical inventory counting.
Counting uniform goods is a doable chore, but counting donated items is a daunting no-win situation. Donated items do not have consistent shelf space; each item must be checked individually. So, is it worth the trouble to maintain accurate inventory quantities?
AMI solves this problem by automatically removing old items after a few weeks of selling. Whether an item is sold, stolen, or pulled, it is automatically removed from the inventory. No physical counting is necessary.
Does your retail solution provide accurate donated inventory quantities without resorting to physical counting?