Managing your inventory can be a difficult task, especially during the holiday season. People want “instant gratification” when doing their holiday shopping, so it’s important to have all of the merchandise on hand that you will need. People aren’t very interested in ordering things. This is especially true if the holidays are near. It can be difficult to determine what you might need, so we’ve compiled some tips for making sure that you are as close as possible to determining how much of which items you will need.

  1. Double check your sales from the prior year to see what items were trending high. If you don’t have record of last year, or if your boutique is new, then there are a few other things you can do. You can collaborate with other boutique owners online in forum groups. You can create a social networking site account to connect with other boutique owners to help you. Experience can give them an edge that you can benefit from if they are willing to chat with you and give you pointers. Plus, being active in your field online can help to boost your boutique’s popularity before the holiday season.
  2. It can be difficult to determine how much of a new product to order. One way to find out if a new product is “hot” is to call the manufacturer. Ask them about trends that they’ve seen. Are they having to ramp up production to keep up with demand? Is there a wait when you order because they are selling everything as quickly as they can make it? Finding out if you’re carrying a “hot” item can be very valuable. Not only will you know to order more than normal, but you can make strategic decisions about which products to promote during the holidays.
  3. Another way to find out if something is going to be popular this holiday season is to search online. You can see if people are using auction sites to get their hands on certain products. You can see if other sites selling that item are sold out. Connect with your suppliers or brands on social sites to see what their fans are talking about. Try to get a feel for which products are likely to move and then order accordingly.
  4. Once you get everything ordered, you can use the information that you’ve gathered to your advantage. Now you know what to promote this holiday season. Make sure that your clothing racks are clearly labeled with brand names and special prices. A clothing rack that allows you to face your clothing outward instead of crammed together will be more effective. Advertise on your site, social network, storefront windows, e-mail list, and flyers that you are fully stocked with the popular item. Keep an eye online for price changes so that you stay competitive throughout the season.
  5. About the Author: John Garvey is on the staff of Only Garment Racks, a leading online source of clothing racks including garment racks. Find a high quality clothing rack or garment rack at