Every company has liquidation inventory: returned, excess, obsolete or damaged merchandise that can’t go back on store shelves. Though most organizations would rather not admit they have a need for it, liquidation is the rule – not the exception – in retail.
Given how competitive retailing is today, the ability to squeeze margin out of every area of the business is crucial; this includes merchandise slated for liquidation. There has been a clear lack of innovation around how companies approach the liquidation process; amazingly many companies still let excess inventory pile up in a warehouse and then, only after the CFO says, “we need to get this stuff off our books by end of quarter on Friday!” will they proceed to sell it to one or two liquidators at whatever low price it takes to get it sold by Friday. The result over time is billions of dollars lost. So why then, do so many retailers manage their liquidation programs the same way they did decades ago?