Turning Clearance Sales Into Cash

Whether you have an ongoing clearance table or rack or you save clearance merchandise for special special occasion sales, planning ahead for thoughtful marketing and presentation can help you max out the potential of discontinued or under-performing merchandise.

Read on for tips to help you make the most of future clearance sales.

Price It Right. The goal of a clearance sale is to move merchandise out the door. Keep this goal in mind when pricing clearance merchandise. You may not make top profit margins on these products, but you will make room on the sales floor for fresh stock, and attract additional traffic.

Think Beyond the Clearance Rack. So if the point of a clearance sale isn’t to make a lot of money on products you’ve marked down, why have them at all? One valuable strategy is to draw customers into your store to explore markdowns, then grab their attention with an offer that entices them to purchase full-price inventory.

  • Offer a $5 off $25 coupon (or $10 off $50, etc.) for regularly priced items in email, on social media, and even at the door during a clearance sale.
  • Offer a clearance rack FREEBIE for customers who spend $50 or more on regularly priced merchandise.
  • Invite every visitor to sign up for your email list. #FutureSales
  • Hand out coupons good the following month, or invitations to an upcoming store event.
  • Invite your email list to an invitation-only PRE-clearance event. Let them know as a loyal customer, they get first dibs on sale inventory — before the sale launches. #BuildBrandLoyalty

Put Imagination on Display. If your usual round clearance rack in the back of the store isn’t moving a lot of merch, try something new. Host a Facebook Live clearance event, asking customers to claim items in the comments as you go. Try colorful baskets or boxes in a different location in the store, with clearance apparel sorted by size. Display clearance apparel or jewelry in a vintage suitcase, little red wagon, or gardening container. Put together grab bags of assorted small items with $5 or $10 price points. Display a petite table of clearance items near the register, with signage pointing to the location of additional sales merchandise.

Rebrand the Clearance Rack. Maybe you aren’t holding a “clearance sale” at all. Maybe your discounted merchandise is part of a Last Chance Sale, a Rainy Day Sale, or a Bargain Bazaar. If you find clearance sales boring, chances are your customers will, too. Jazz it up with a splashy title that lends itself to fun social media posts, emails, and store signage. Have staff dress the part and take candid shots to share on socials.

Give Back. One way Kerusso likes to bless it forward with overstock merchandise is by giving to worthy causes. Sometimes that means providing T-shirts and gifts to a global organization like Operation Christmas Child, and sometimes it’s a local opportunity to give, like Bright Futures Berryville here in NW, Arkansas. If you don’t have enough merchandise to hold a sales event, or you want to clear out excess stock quickly and support a worthy cause at the same time, this is a thoughtful way to do it.

A clearance sale can be an effective way to free up valuable space on your sales floor, and it’s a stellar way to bring more traffic through the door. What happens once you’ve brought those shoppers inside is up to you. A little creativity (and a plan!) can make all the difference in the value a clearance sale brings to your store.