Expanding your inventory to include merchandise that enhances or expands your sales is always a good idea — if it is done properly. Using other merchandise as an added draw for your cabinet line can reap rewards. The addition of countertops, vanity tops, appliances, and flooring can benefit your overall sales, draw more customers and help your established accounts. It can turn your business into a one-stop location. But it can also sink your business if not handled properly.
Plan, Plan, Plan
When considering adding items to your inventory, make sure they will bring in more kitchen/bath sales and add to your business instead of take over your business. Look at your building, invite your customer’s input and consult your sales staff before jumping in.
- Take a random sampling of customers. Determine if adding items would help them or if they will continue to get these items elsewhere.
- Consult your sales team to determine if adding merchandise will help close more sales or increase sales.
- Look at your facilities to ensure room for storage and ample display areas are available.
- Don’t overextend your credit or maximize your purchasing power to add new items.
- Consider an exit plan if adding other merchandise becomes a hindrance instead of an asset.
- Determine your best options for brands and the competition in your area.
- Decide if pricing or availability is to be your strong suit for the merchandise to complement your kitchen cabinet sales. A happy medium of both is an optimum goal.
Consignment First — Build Gradually
Any merchandise should be consigned. This is not always possible but, when it is an option, it reduces costs and liabilities. A large outlay of capital for showroom and display areas as well as merchandise can stretch expenditures. Any time merchandise is added, there are always hidden costs involved. Be prepared for surprises and you will never be disappointed — they always come. If sales have been lackluster and you have determined that added merchandise will boost them, start slowly and build up. If the results are not what you expected, it is easier to back out of the situation early in the game and cut your losses. If you see success building, better pricing may be available with outright purchases instead of consignment. Showroom remodeling can also come later as you see kitchen cabinet sales increase.
Your Primary Purpose
Never forget that your primary purpose is to increase your sales. If flooring for instance, seems to take off dramatically, it can easily displace your original intent. Make sure your sales team continues to focus on kitchen cabinets and not flooring. As the concentration on one increases, the accent on the other may tend to decrease. Abandoning one for the other can be costly. Keep the focus on kitchen or bath sales and use the other merchandise as added value products for your customer’s convenience and as added value for your company.