18
Dec

Managing inventory key to retail
In retail, managing inventory is a critical part of bottom line success. My husband is a retailer, son of a retailer, brother to a retailer and uncle to retailers so you see this concept is the same as breathing in our family.

What defines inventory?
My work falls a little outside this retail realm. As well as doing leadership development coaching I paint and up until recently I was a partner in a gallery in Toronto’s Historic Distillery District. So I have to admit that I find it a challenge to think of my paintings as inventory.

Get real then get creative
I had a rude awakening this Fall when I was actually having trouble getting to my laundry room because paintings were stacked three deep on both sides of the basement hallway. My patient retailer husband suggested a yard sale. Before I almost had a hemorrhage at that cheeky idea, I did have a creative thought and entered the local annual art tour the last weekend in November and put most of my paintings in a silent auction. My final tally showed that I sold 44 of the 74 paintings that I hung in the show.

Win / win
Some of these pieces went for not much more than the cost of materials which could have been a heart breaker until I looked at who bought. Some of my friends’ kids who are going out on their own now have paintings rather than posters. Others who were feeling the current economic pinch were thrilled to actually find something they could afford. Best of all I have freed up tons of creative energy and some cash to buy supplies.

A personal lesson for the future
As an ENFP who makes decisions based on values and whether an action lines up for me in my inner world this was initially a tough call. My inner dialogue was telling me that I had worked hard to build my reputation and that it had taken me years to get my prices to a certain level. How could I go back to prices that I charges 15 years ago? I was also telling myself that the art world had different (special?) rules that certainly didn’t involve the word “inventory”. We are talking beauty, mystery ….art not merchandise.

Freedom
Giving myself permission to get over myself and have some fun ended with a great result. Not only is inventory management good for the bottom –line, clearing old work was good for releasing creativity. It feels like freedom.

Category: Best practices
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