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LETS GET DOWN TO BUSINESS.

Question :
We are an online gift registry site that was predominately for weddings prior to Covid19. During Lockdown we added a baby registry which is doing well in terms of sales. With the products we sell for the weddings we have always ordered as required and avoided carrying stock as much as possible. Over the peak season months we order a lot and it’s easy to meet minimums, harder now it’s quiet. What I’m noticing with the baby brands is that we are required to make minimum order values, particularly clothing. The other element of this is that deliveries are taking twice as long. Our shop now function has been popular but because we are not holding stock we order it, it takes 2-4 weeks to arrive and then we send and I don’t feel like this is a great experience for the customer even though I keep in touch with them and let them know. Should we start to build up stock? We might need to get an overdraft to do this – is this a terrible idea at this time? We are online only.

Question submitted 04/06/20 @ 12:26pm
Industry: Retailing
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  • Hi. Quick answer is, I think it’s a great idea.Your market is local and not going anywhere, so while slow right now, should recover. I’d suggest you start slowly and look at holding stock of those items that are in highest demand. You should be able to calibrate your ordering. It seems to quite reasonable to me that your offer would say some items are available for immediate delivery, others will take longer (but worth the wait).
    Good luck.

    My quick answer, take a look at the numbers, if the return on investment is good then do it. It really just comes down to the numbers.

    Hey there – so the discomfort you feel about customer service and delays is a good one. Just think however what expectation your customers have on that score – are they ok with waiting? If not, then somehow you need to work out what you need to over-stock in.

    Taking on debt to fuel growth is totally normal, fine. Taking on debt with a hope of finding growth, that is risky.

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