Out with the old & in with the NEW

by Glen Peloso


Figuring out how to merchandise your sale items in the store as you try to lighten the load of old stock can be difficult. You have to clear stock while still keeping focus on your new product. Planning, promoting and merchandising effectively can help you sell the new product while still clearing the older stock you have. If you follow this path, you will greatly increase your chances of success.



  • Sales require a great deal of planning and preparation along with social media before and during the event to amplifiy the voice and perspective.
  • You know when the sale is happening, so start putting the word out to create a sense of excitement.
  • Sales assistants should be mentioning the special offers and discounts to customers.
  • Ensure your store can handle increased demand.
  • Leave room for lead times, labour demands, human error and bad luck.
  • Promote slow selling products and excess merchandise more heavily in-store, marketing and social media.



  • Signage announces the sale when customers enter the store.
  • The bulk of the sale item should be placed at the back of the shop to ensure customers walk through all of the new products and innovations. They may not buy it today, but they have seen it and have the opportunity to want it.
  • Create a small display at the front of the store with the kinds of things on sale as an enticement.
  • Sale items are not “bad” items, they are just in the way of new product. You still need to display them grouped in colour stories or lifestyle stories.
  • Clearance sales should be graduated from 20% – 70% off over time.
  • Bold colours catch the eye. Make sure your signs, display tables or displays are in contrast to other items in the store.
  • A subtle backdrop can help keep your customers attention on the products you’re looking to sell.



  • Products that didn’t sell at the full price, the sale price or on clearance need to be well documented; they are clearly not for your customer base.
  • Shake up the way you showcase your wares by using non-traditional shelving options. Things like oak rum barrels, clothes hanging on display around an old bicycle that you’ve painted bright yellow or really anything your imagination can think of!
  • Turn on the senses – sound and smell have a clear impact in your customers’ decision-making process, and studies show that the perfect combo of product and sensory stimulus can encourage customers to buy more.
  • Adjust your lighting to really highlight products you want to sell (if there are no dimmers in your retail store, they are definitely worth the investment).
  • As items are sold, you may end up with a “sales” table. Make sure sale items are still presented as “beauties being sold to make room.”
  • Anything that was a “buying error” should be sold off to a clearance centre or sold at a sidewalk sale (or anyplace out of the store). Deep discounts in-store is not good for branding.
  • Clean, clean and clean again – especially the sale items. Many shoppers avoid a business because “it looked dirty.”
  • Sales are an opportunity for your visual team to tell a new story. The last story you told wasn’t effective. This is your chance to “tell a new story.”
  • Instruct staff to treat “sale search” people as they would any other.
  • Never judge or treat customers with anything but respect. They are helping with clearance and/or they may just love a sale but move on to buy many other custom items.

Co-founders and principals of design firm Peloso Alexander Interiors, Glen and Jamie are frequent TV guests, having been seen on the Marilyn Denis Show, Global Morning News, Breakfast Television Toronto, HGTV and the Food Network. Both designers, along with their firm’s work, have been featured in print — Glen writes a regular design column for the Toronto Star, while Jamie contributes biweekly to the Toronto Sun.

Glen and Jamie have a combined 40 years of experience in both residential and commercial interior design projects throughout North America. They maintain a retail boutique and design firm in the King East Design District of downtown Toronto.

Glen and Jamie are keynote speakers at the Fall 2017 Toronto Gift Fair.

Peloso Alexander Interiors