Holiday Inventory Management Tips for Grocers and Retailers
To say that the holiday season is a competitive time for businesses is an understatement, and nowhere is that more evident than the grocery and retail industries. To stay competitive, you need to leverage every opportunity to make a sale, and you can’t afford to let quality or service suffer.
During the holidays, successful businesses need to have plenty of inventory on hand, and must be able to keep inventory fresh, accessible and ready to go when the customer is ready. How and where to store that inventory can get tricky.
“During the busy holiday season, retailers both large and small experience their largest freight flows of the year,” said Nick Papke, Sales Director, Citi-Cargo & Storage. Many facilities, he added, simply do not have the stockrooms to accommodate the large influx of freight. “Citi-Cargo offers grocers and retailers a relief valve by offering on-site storage containers, semi-trailers, or we can keep excess freight in one of our many warehouses.” With competition from big box stores offering layaway as well, temporary storage containers keep items stored safely until the consumer is ready to pick up their merchandise.
TIP 1: Rent temporary storage units with the features you need.
Maybe your business is in a residential neighborhood, where you don’t want noise and exhaust from diesel units disturbing your community. An electric reefer unit is a great solution. Maybe you need a refrigerated unit with a roll-up back door so you can unload it directly at your dock. Or maybe you need to house a large quantity of inventory in dry storage units, but you only need it for a month. There are a variety of temporary storage options that can help make your life easier during the holidays, and you’d be surprised what creative solutions we can come up with to best meet your needs.
TIP 2: Reserve your storage units early. Very early.
Units with special features, especially refrigeration, are in very high demand during the holidays, making it hard for customers to get the units they need if they wait too long. Some units are available to reserve in advance; some units with special features are not. That’s why it’s important to call early – to make a plan for the units you need, to reserve ahead if you can. For units that may not be reserved, we recommend acquiring the unit as soon as you’re reasonably able, before someone else does. Calling early ensures you have your choice of storage units, without having to scramble at the last minute.
TIP 3: Use one vendor.
Before and during the holidays, efficiency is key to keeping your competitive edge. If you’re trying to put together multiple contracts and coordinateyour inventory management with more than one vendor, you’re likely wasting resources. “We are the only provider in the Minnesota/North Dakota region to offer such a wide variety of units,” Papke said. “We offer refrigerated trailers as well as ground-level refrigerated containers anda large fleet of dry storage containers,” Papke added. “Because we have such a large variety of storage options, we are literally a one-stop shop for many of our customers.”
TIP 4: Get fair prices and rental terms.
Avoid vendors who increase prices, minimum rental requirements, or minimum rental term lengths during the holiday season. We pride ourselves on offering the same pricing and flexible rental terms to our customers during the holidays as we do for the rest of the year. With Citi-Cargo, there’s no minimum rental requirement, and a minimum term of just one month, all year round.
TIP 5: Consider Citi-Cargo & Storage.
If you’re a retailer or grocer in Minnesota or North Dakota, especially in the Fargo/Moorhead or Minneapolis/St. Paul areas, consider Citi-Cargo & Storage for extra storage solutions during the holidays. We offer:
- An extensive refrigerated fleet
- A variety of features, including electric units, roll-up doors, and extra security
- A customer service team who is experienced with helping find creative solutions to common problems for retailers and grocers during the holidays
- Flexible and fair rental terms and pricing
- On-time delivery and pickup
Do you need extra storage for holiday inventory? We’re ready to help. Request a quote.