How do you jumpstart January business?

by Steve Pruitt

Q: I took a lot of markdowns over the holidays and now business has really slowed down. What can I do to motivate customers to buy again?

A: The bottom line is that you’re going to have to wait until you land new merchandise so you can start promoting it. We know that some retailers who were highly promotional over the holidays were left with lower inventory levels, so if you are one of them, you need to talk to your vendors to make sure that you get new goods as soon as possible.

Since December sales were higher than expected, we believe that it took some business off the table for January. However, we expect sales to pick up a little later in the season so be patient while you’re putting your 2012 plans in place because spring should be strong despite a slow start.