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Seasonal Preparations for Retailers: Getting Ready for Summer

The summer offers enormous opportunities for growth and profits in retail. Nevertheless, it also requires diligent preparation. As a retailer, you need to align your product range, promotions, and staffing to try to capitalize on warmer weather shopping trends.

Merchandise Planning for Summer Fashion Trends

The foundation of any summer retail strategy is to stock on-trend, seasonal products. Analyze bestselling items from last summer and research upcoming trends to help with your buying decisions. Shift focus to warm weather categories like swimwear, sunglasses, sundresses, shorts, sandals, summer accessories, and breezy fabrics like linen and rayon.

Be ready to meet demand by working closely with vendors to ask for rush reorders of hot sellers. Purchase plenty of versatile neutrals and prints or patterns that can transition across multiple seasons. If you sell wholesale sunglasses, the experts at Olympic Eyewear recommend stocking classic black and tortoiseshell options along with trending rose gold mirrors, neon brights, and oversized cat eye shapes. Plan your stock requirements six months ahead of time and place purchase orders with enough lead time for summer stock to arrive by no later than early May.

Managing Seasonal Inventory Flows

Source: cnn.com

Careful inventory management allows you to have enough stock on hand to any meet summer demand without too much excess inventory. Analyze historical sales data, inventory turnover rate, and stock-to-sales ratios to try to forecast optimal summer quantities.

Tightly control slower-moving items while allotting more budget and floor space for fast-selling products. Install a replenishment plan to systematically re-order top sellers once these reach certain stock level minimums. Audit for excess winter merchandise and implement markdowns up to 50% off to clear through outdated seasonal goods. Carefully unpack and log summer goods as these arrive while shuffling winter items to the sale section or storing them away. Handle inventory logistics issues right away and follow up with vendors if shipments are delayed, damaged, shorted, or contain defects.

Summer Visual Merchandizing Tactics

In tandem with showcasing sunny new fashions, give your entire store summer flair through visual merchandizing. Build colorful feature displays with breezy fabrics, greenery, wood crates, and nautical elements. Showcase flowy dresses on mannequins against backdrops of ocean waves or bright floral wallpaper. Tie in seasonal themes with fun props like beach balls, seashells, or melting popsicles styled by summer accessories.

Staff Training to Deliver Summer Customer Service

Invest in customer service and sales floor training to align staff with your summer retail strategy. Set seasonal expectations of increased traffic, transaction volumes, and customer queries on trends. Review best practices for upselling add-on items like handbags with new sundresses or strappy sandals with casual shorts. Conduct brand and product knowledge training highlighting summer arrivals so staff can provide helpful fashion advice to drive sales. Encourage staff to build multichannel style credibility by engaging customers on social media or sharing summer styling content.

Summer Marketing Tactics

Source: edume.com

Adapt marketing campaigns to spotlight warm-weather offerings customers crave this time of year. Promote through social channels by showcasing staff styled seasonal outfits ideal for upcoming heat waves, beach getaways, or tropical vacations. Lean into SEO optimized blog content on topics like must-have summer accessories, what to wear to a beach wedding, or guides to flattering one-piece swimsuits. Consider search advertising for local campaigns when targeting customers in vacation destinations. Whatever the marketing medium, lead with vibrant visuals and clear calls-to-action to shop categories bursting with new summer inventory.


Year after year, summer is the most lucrative quarter for apparel and accessories retail. But fully capitalizing on this incredible opportunity requires intention and strategy across buying, inventory control, store design, staff training, and omni-channel marketing. Retailers willing to put in this work will reap the well-deserved rewards of soaring summer sales.

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