How to take charge of your back room once and for all

Contrary to what some customers may imagine, most retail stores don’t have vast expanses of storage ‘out the back’.

In fact, many stockrooms are small and overcrowded places, where staff have to juggle excess stock with unused décor, packaging equipment and their lunches.

There are the back rooms that are cluttered, crowded or untidy; and there are some that are downright hazardous!

Do you want to finally take control of your stockroom? Here is a great place to start:

Organise your stock:

  • Use bins for stock that doesn’t hang up – clearly label them with the stock code, sizes, age etc.
  • Use racks that can be folded down for hanging items. These can be stored away when not in use. 
  • Protect fabric stock with drycleaners film while it is in storage
  • Every shop will be different in the way they organise their stock, but so long as its organised in a way that moves stock quickly you are doing it right – consider organising by style, season, colour or designer.
  • Draw a plan of the stockroom layout, and indicate what stock goes where. Put the plan on a wall or bulletin board.

Organise other non-stock items

  • Hangers need hanger tidies. Invest in some – you won’t be sorry!
  • Put electrical cords in clear plastic containers if not in use.
  • Sort unusable stock into bins labelled ‘return to vendor’, ‘damaged’, ‘written off’ etc.
  • Assign more shelves or bins to store décor, giveaways, and pricing equipment.
  • Assign a shipping area
  • Somewhere to place unprocessed deliveries is essential.
  • Store other shipping-related equipment (e.g. packing tape envelopes, boxes) here for returning items.

Make room for staff

  • There should be a desk area for working out the back – for stock checks, a computer etc.
  • Staff amenities, such as a small fridge, a kettle and a sink, should be grouped together away from stock if possible.
  • Make sure there is a secure area for staff’s personal items. A locker is ideal, but not always possible.

Boost Morale

  • Communicate with the team via a whiteboard or bulletin board, and encourage everyone to use it.
  • Add some colour so the room is not so cheerless – a splash of bright paint will bring a smile to people’s faces.
  • Add a couple of chairs, if there is room, for staff to rest their feet (occasionally!)

And last but not least – get good lighting! It encourages organisation, lifts people’s moods and makes it easier to find things when a customer asks that question ‘can you look out the back?’.

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