How to Prepare for Slow Selling Seasons

Don’t worry, slow selling seasons are completely normal realities of retail! Here’s how you can use them to your benefit…


Hi, I am Syama Meagher, C.E.O of Scaling Retail and I want to talk to you today about what to do when sales are slow. Now, a slow selling period can really happen almost any time of year, but historically slow selling periods are going to be between the months of January and February and then also again in July and August. So when you start to think about when you are preparing your selling cycles, you want to start to look at your overall timeline.

Now of course, depending on if your product is a resort product, if your product is following the traditional spring summer or are whole winter cadences, your slow selling periods might be different. But today let’s talk a little bit about what to do when it is actually slow.

So the first thing you want to do when identifying a good slow period for yourself, is to really think about the seasonality of your product. When do you actually anticipate having the highest amount of sales?

Now plan your activities, your marketing activities and your business activities accordingly. You certainly don’t want to be working on things like a big marketing push, a big marketing campaign, when it is the time of year when you’re in the process of launching your wholesale trade show, right?You want to be thinking about things in terms of status, and then also being able to make sure that at every time of the year you’re preparing for those busy seasons.

So once you’ve identified what those slow periods are for you, the next thing to do is to start to think about your yearly activities. Now in your business you’re looking at things like your marketing strategies, you’re looking at things like activating digital campaigns, pop up events. You’re looking at doing other types of sales activities, right? Whether you’re going to do a sample sale, whether you’re going to do something like a special friends and family sale. Start to think about all of the sales and marketing activities for the year and let’s start to organize them. So you’re either working on them or executing them during traditional slow selling periods.

Now again, those selling periods for most people are January and February, but if you happen to be a winter company and you’re selling a lot of great, you know, winter coats, January and February might be amazing sessions for you, right? You might be looking at slower periods towards June, July, August. So take a look at your business model and plan accordingly. You being a small business owner means that you need to be very careful about your time. Those four months out of the year, potentially more, potentially less, that are considered slow can actually be blessings in disguise to help you regroup, reposition and make sure that your business is actually able to take advantage of the busy selling periods.

Now, final word of caution, please don’t freak out. We are in a retail industry which means your product, unless it’s a replenishment item, something like pencils or leggings or you know basics like undergarments, socks even, your cycles are probably going to have peaks and lows, right? You’re going to have to plan for those and then sales periods and then also the ones that aren’t generating as much. So please don’t freak out, it’s totally normal.

But lastly guys before I sign off, remember, your long term strategy will always incorporate slow selling periods. You probably will never have a year-over-year sales balance where you’re at just continuously seeing the same increment from sales, and that’s okay, right? That is okay. If you have questions about how to manage your markdowns, questions like how to manage pop-up shops and those marketing activities, please shoot me an email Please leave a comment below and find me. I’m on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. I am where you are. Thanks.

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