Autumn inventory promotions
Autumn months bring pumpkin spice lattes and seasonal promotions.

As the seasons change and the temperatures begin to drop, you’ll likely notice a shift in turnover as high volume, hot weather items like frozen desserts see less demand. It’s important to tweak your autumn inventory management strategy to accommodate the shift. Failing to do so could make Q4 grim!

Prepare for Seasonal Items

While demand for certain items may wax and wane, the majority of your inventory is not likely to change. Customers will still want Coca-Cola, lottery tickets, and potato chips. However, the changing season always brings a host of themed options. When you see costumes, turkeys, and tinsel in department stores, it is wise to follow suit with inventory that gives a nod to the season.

Pumpkin and pumpkin spice flavors are always a popular selection, particularly during hallowed and harvest months. These often come in the form of coffee, baked goods, and even seasonal beer offerings. Of course, partnering with a local bakery or brewery is always a good idea, if possible. If you have not already started the conversation, get on the phone today.

Beyond holiday-themed items, coffee in general will likely see an upswing in sales. Where hot coffee usually trends downward in the summer, the cold weather signals the unofficial start of coffee drinking weather. Prepare your coffee bar accordingly.

Don’t Slow Down on School-Related Promotions

With the arrival of Autumn comes an increased focus on the classroom, and even though back-to-school is over, there are still many school-related promotions that can occur during the final months of the year.

  • Teacher-specific gas/shopping cards. If you have teachers as customers, odds are your store is on their way to and from school. Give them a great reason to stop at your place, such as a special discount for teachers on coffee, gas, or other items.
  • Special discounts for students. If the bell rings at 3 pm and by 3:15 pm your store isn’t swamped with students, give them a reason to stop in. Offer a discount on afterschool snacks, drinks, and even school supplies if you offer them. Don’t forget to require a student ID.
  • Specials for commuters and parent taxis. Promote coffee/breakfast sales for commuting students, teachers, and parents. Again, if parents and teachers are stopping by your store, you’re on their way. Give them a reason to keep coming back with an attractive coffee and breakfast promotion, easily set up and managed with pricebook management.
  • Sponsor Events. From fairs and carnivals to pep rallies, schools are often looking for local businesses to get involved by sponsoring the local team, donating concessions, etc.

Look to the Past To Get Ahead!

Holidays, back to school, cooler weather – there is a lot going on once autumn rolls around. Make sure to check past sales reports and see what you did last year. What sold well? What promotions did you run? And keep an eye on the performance this year as well. Next autumn will be here before you know it!

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