Once upon a time, stock clearance was an annual exercise. Most companies across industries had to clear their stacked inventory once a year or so to make way for new products. One of the reasons was to phase out older products that would have become dated with the advent of newer and better alternatives. One of the compulsions was purely spatial. Warehouses needed space for fresh stocks and stores also had the same compulsion. Today, stock clearance is becoming a perennial exercise. In fact, it already has become a seasonal and in some cases a monthly exercise, thanks to eCommerce.
eCcommerce has changed not just retail but also warehousing, inventory management, logistics and supply chain. The shelf life of products has reduced dramatically, not for perishable goods but nonperishable items. The manufacturers are not making it any easier because they too are rolling out new and better variants of the same products more frequently now than ever before. Consumer electronics are not the only industry that has been affected by the constant churn. Most major industries, from apparel to footwear, household appliances to heavy duty equipments, are undergoing a sea change in regards to stock clearance.
eCommerce has compelled traditional retailers, distributors and wholesalers to start considering stock clearance as a seasonal event and not just a one-off exercise to get rid of stacked inventory. It is no longer solely about getting rid of unsold stock. It is also about maximising sales with promotions and special deals. Manufacturers are not lagging behind and are trying to make the most of these promotional sprees and are also conceiving the life cycle of their products according to the realities of the market. It is only a matter of time before stock clearance becomes just another regular routine as sales or usual supply chain and logistics management.