Festive Season Inventory Management: A Practical Guide for Independent Retailers

While the back-to-school season is in full swing, most retailers are already starting to prepare for the year’s busiest time — From now on it’s jingle all the way until Christmas! And although no one is quite ready to listen to “All I Want for Christmas is You” on repeat just yet, it’s crucial to start implementing a festive-season plan to ensure your success. As always, we’re here to help! 

In this article, our experts share their tips and tricks to help you manage your inventory effectively in the run-up to the festive season. Whether you’re analysing past years, organising storage space, or adapting to current trends… Our best advice is to stay zen and follow the guide!

1. Take time to analyse: previous years and current needs

a) Back to the future

The best way to prepare for the festive season is to look at trends from previous years. Take stock of past years, dive into your data and define the following:

  • Seasonal Trends
  • Unique needs
  • Holiday demand flows

This will give you an indication of what to expect in 2023.

b) Be present

Don’t get so overwhelmed by planning for the future that you forget to focus on what is in front of you: Simply start by taking stock of your current inventory and listing : 

  • What do you have?
  • What you don’t have?
  • What do you need to restock?

Identify the flagship products that absolutely must be available on your shelves in the run-up to Christmas. In addition, identify which products are less successful during the festive season and can therefore be put on hold while your best-sellers take centre stage.

2. Think strategically: categorise your products correctly

a) Efficient classification

Sort your products according to their relevance to the holiday season. Focus your stock management and sourcing efforts on these categories. In this way, you can make sure that you’re stocked up with all your best-sellers.

Next, create themed bundles to encourage complementary sales. And lastly, be strategic in introducing targeted discounts on certain categories.

b) Diversification

If you decide to add new products to your assortment, decide in advance how to integrate them into your existing categories, while promoting them to your customers. 

3. Dates to diarises: plan for success

a) Plan your calendar

To make sure you don’t get overwhelmed, we advise you to plan your calendar carefully, starting now until the end of the holiday season. For example, draw up a detailed ordering schedule according to your suppliers’ delivery times, to avoid stock-outs. 

By meticulously planning your day-to-day schedule, you’ll be ready for the unexpected since everything else is perfectly in place. 

b) Strategic reminders

Once you’ve filled in your order calendar, it’s also a good idea to schedule regular reminders to check your stock levels during the holiday season. During this very busy period, with a million things requiring your attention, this will ensure you stay on top of everything.  

4. Flexibility and agility

a) Flexibility is key

It doesn’t matter how prepared you are, there’s sure to be a few curve balls coming your way. The most important thing is to adapt. If some of your products don’t meet your expectations or don’t keep up with your sales predictions, don’t get stuck! For example, think about offering discounts or adjustment to your prices to avoid unsold or leftover stock.

b) Keep an eye on trends

Your store might be subject to seasonal trends. Follow your plan, of course, but also keep an eye on your competitors and what is happening in the industry. Don’t hesitate to make the necessary adjustments to your stock if it means you can benefit in the long run.

Ankorstore best practice
Throughout the year, we offer you brand selections based on current trade events. From now, you can discover our special holiday selections including “Gifts ideas“, “Decorations” and “Festive meals” until December. We’ve carefully curated these collections so you have access to all the products perfectly suited to the season and your unique needs.

5. Organise your storage space

In the midst of the mad rush that comes with holiday craziness, your storage space can quickly become a nightmare to navigate. This year, get organised ahead of time! Make sure every product is easily accessible (and easy to find) for smooth inventory management. Here are a few techniques you can implement: 

  • Create a special holiday zone: This makes it easier to find products and saves precious time when your shop is busy.
  • Be precise when labelling your products.
  • Organise your products according to demand (the most popular brands and best sellers should be the most accessible).
  • Set up a well-organised order-collection area to minimise errors during the rush.
  • Use transparent containers for small items or accessories. (Genius, right?) 
  • Take a few minutes (either after closing or before opening) at regular intervals to maintain the space and keep it optimally organised.

6. Communicate (all the time, and with everyone)

a) Collaborate with your team

In the run-up to the festive season, organise moments of reflection and sharing with your team. Clarify your strategy, explain the actions to be taken as you approach Christmas, and make sure that your staff understand your ordering and stocking organisation.

b) Strong partnerships with your suppliers

Remember, your suppliers are also entering their most important (and busiest) time of the year. So be sure to contact them proactively and discuss the following: 

  • Your upcoming needs
  • Changes in the volume and frequency of orders
  • Adjustments or changes in their delivery times, so that you can prepare accordingly

Ankorstore best practice
Did you know that you can contact brands directly from the platform? Just go to their store page and click on “Contact brand” – it’s as easy as that!

7. Digitalise your processes

Utilise the technological tools available to retailers today to automate and simplify your inventory and order tracking. This software provides a great way to analyse your data in real-time, so you can forecast demand and optimise your ordering strategy. Investigate which options are available, and pick the one most suitable for your specific needs. 

8. Stay alert: take note of expiration dates and cash flow

a) Expiration dates

If your business offers products with expiry dates (like groceries or beauty products), keep a close eye on your perishable products before and during the holiday season. This will help you avoid losses. To do this, consider using the “FIFO” (First In, First Out) technique to ensure that the oldest products are sold first.

b) Cash management

The holiday season is always a critical time for independent retailers’ cash flow. Beforehand, plan your cash flow, taking into account your purchasing costs, stocking costs etc. Also, explore financing strategies to meet your needs during peak periods. Finally, optimise your purchasing by negotiating with your suppliers to obtain favourable terms and payment deadlines.

Ankorstore best practice
Eligible independent retailers benefit from payment terms of up to 60 days on orders placed via the platform. Ankorstore Plus subscribers can benefit from payment terms of up to 90 days. Read more about it in our FAQs.

You can also ask Ankorstore partner brands to offer you customised discounts on their product catalogues. Find out more in our FAQ section.

In summary, we advise you to follow these 8 inventory management strategies for a successful festive season: analysis of your sales history, categorisation of your products, detailed planning for restocking, flexibility, organisation of your storage space, communication with your teams and suppliers, digitalisation of your process and vigilance around products with expiration dates and cash flow.

By combining meticulous organising with up-to-date knowledge of your products and trends, you’re ready to successfully manage your inventory during this crucial period. 

We wish you every success for the coming holiday season! 

#BreakFreeday: The Friday of independent retail

Black Friday is a day when most small businesses suffer due to meaningless percentage discounts and mass production.

This Black Friday, we’re bringing the colour. Instead of following the masses, we want to break free!


#BreakFreeday is a day to celebrate each one of our retail businesses. It’s a day...


To celebrate helping, not harming.

To celebrate quality, not excess.

To celebrate resisting, not conforming.

To celebrate uniqueness, not mass production.

To celebrate increasing margins, not stress.


Because this is what makes independent retail.

And that is what we believe in. 


We are facilitators of change. We strive to bring diversity, colour and creativity back to the streets. 
Now more than ever, we’re committed to enabling the conditions for independent retailers, like you, to thrive.

On #BreakFreeday, be free to choose whether you want to open or close your store. Whether you want to add discounts or not.

No matter your choice, we will support you and give you the best price to stay competitive.

We want to lead this explosion of diverse and unique brands and stores. Join our movement.

Small discounts, big payoff: How price reductions can help your brand grow

According to our recent Independent Trade Observatory, nearly 55% of French retailers confirm a growing trend among the French: the search for the best value for money before making a purchasing decision. This figure convinces us more than ever that discounts will be one of the main levers of marketing strategy for brands and retailers for years to come.

In this article, we’ll explain why we believe discounts are one of the pillars on which to build your brand strategy. We’ll then explain how you can take advantage of Ankorstore’s tools to implement these discounts. Finally, we’ll give you some tips on how to share your promotional campaigns with your network.


1 – Why implement discounts?
a) Increase order frequency
b) Building customer loyalty
c) Reassuring retailers
d) Get rid of stock
e) Communicate, communicate, communicate

2. How do I set up discounts on Ankorstore?
a) The ‘Personalised discount’ feature
b) Product discounts
c) Collections
d) Ankorstore commercial events
e) Benefits for newcomers

3 – Where can I communicate about my discounted products?
a) Send an e-mail campaign
b) Post on your social networks
c) Multiple contact points


1 – Why implement discounts?

a) Increase order frequency

By offering discounts to your catalogue, you allow retailers to order from you more frequently. Admittedly, these are often small reorders, but shouldn’t be underestimated. You can also implement a discount strategy to drive additional sales to your customers: X products purchased, X% discount on Y item.

b) Building customer loyalty

Discounts are easy commercial gestures to implement and have a great impact on your customer relations. In fact, by offering your customers discounts, you’re showing them that you’re willing to go the extra mile to make your relationship with them last. You’re also helping them to build up their stock at a time when retailers are facing ever-greater cash-flow problems due to inflation and rising fixed costs.

c) Reassuring retailers

As mentioned earlier, independent retailers have been hit hard by the economic crisis in recent years, which can make them wary of trying out new brands at high prices. By offering them discounts, you allow them to try out your products at a lower cost and discover your brand without risk. 

d) Get rid of stock

Do you need more space in your warehouse or stock room? Discounts are also a great way to get rid of stock that’s sitting on your hands and make room for your new collections. 

e) Communicate, communicate, communicate

Discounts on your products are also the perfect opportunity for you to set up communication campaigns. They enable you to create buzz around your brand’s products, build momentum at strategic times of the year, and boost your business during slower periods. Show your customers and prospects that you’re always present and active on the market.

Good to know: By adding a discount, you boost your visibility on Ankorstore! An e-mail will be sent automatically to retailers who’ve already placed an order with your brand, or who have added you to their favorites.

2 – How do I set up discounts on Ankorstore?

a) The ‘Personalised discount’ feature

Ankorstore lets you offer personalised discounts to the retailers of your choice. Offering discounted prices to some of your contacts can help you increase your conversion rate by motivating prospects to order from your brand. This feature also allows your Ankorstore customers to enjoy similar benefits to buying directly while benefiting from our unique purchasing conditions.

To find out how to set up these personalised discounts, see our FAQ article.

b) Product discounts

You can add discounts directly to products you want in your Ankorstore account. Simply go to the ‘Products’ tab and discount each product individually or as a group.

Follow our step-by-step guide.

c) Collections

Collections are curated groupings of themed or seasonal products within your online catalogue that give retailers an additional way to browse and shop. If you’d like to highlight your discounted products, you can create a ‘Sale’ collection and populate it with the discounted products of your choice. Retailers can select individual products from your collection or even order an entire collection at once.

Find out more about collections in our FAQ.

d) Ankorstore trade events

Throughout the year, Ankorstore offers several trade events to allow our partner retailers to discover products at discounted prices. By participating in these events, your brand gets promoted to the platform’s 300,000 merchant members, either directly on the site in special collections or through marketing communications.

To participate in these events and add discounts to your store’s page, simply go to the ‘Events’ tab in your Ankorstore account and add the percentage discount you wish to offer. 

Keep an eye on your mailbox to be notified in advance of events.

Good to know: On average, brands participating in these events generate three times more revenue than during a regular week)*.

*Data based on analysis of the January 2023 Ankorstore Showroom.

e) Benefits for newcomers

There are two benefits you can offer your prospects and historical customers to encourage them to shop your brand on Ankorstore. Your brand has a Refer a Friend voucher to offer your customers, valid on their first order from your Ankorstore shop. 

Once this code has been used, they’ll also benefit from a 20% discount on all their Ankorstore orders placed within 60 days of using the code.

To find out more about our Refer a Friend offer, see our FAQ.

3 – Where can I communicate about my discounted products?

a) Send an e-mail campaign

The first step is to set up your discounts and the second step is to spread the word throughout your network. To let your contacts know that these discounts are available in your Ankorstore shop, consider launching an e-mail campaign. You can either send one e-mail announcement that states the discount amount and its duration or plan a sequence of e-mails that could include a teaser, a launch and a reminder. 

To make things easy, we suggest using Ankorstore’s ‘Campaigns’ tool which gives you an e-mail template that you can personalise and send to your contacts. 

To learn all you need to know about sending campaigns via our tool, consult our FAQ.

b) Post on your social networks

These days, no marketing campaign is complete without posting about it on your social channels. Whether it’s a story or a classic publication, don’t hesitate to share the amount of your discount and its duration. As with your e-mail campaign, you can choose to post about these discounts just once or prepare a sequence of publications.

c) Multiple contact points

The most successful brands use several points of contact when communicating their offers. We therefore advise you not to be content with just one distribution channel, but to multiply your contacts with your customers. You can follow up your e-mails with a call or SMS/message on WhatsApp.

Good to know: it takes around 11 points of contact to convert a new customer, so start messaging!

In a nutshell:

→ Why implement discounts? Increase your sales, build loyalty and reassure your customers, move old inventory and assert your presence in the market.

→ How to set up discounts on Ankorstore? Use the features available to you like personalised discounts, product discounts, collections, sales events and marketing benefits. 

→ Where can I communicate about discounts? Communicate by e-mail and on your social channels, as well as several points of contact throughout the campaign.

To learn more about how Ankorstore can help you optimise your online shop and grow sales, check out our Ultimate Guide to Success on Ankorstore.

The top colour trend of autumn 2023: discover our curated selection

No colour is perhaps as evocative as green in its multidimensional tones. It also happens to be the top trending colour of autumn 2023, so clear a shelf or two in your shop for some gorgeous green products. 

The colour green is woven into the tapestry of each legend and fable of every country throughout the ages, from the mythical Brocéliande Forest where Merlin and Morgan worked their magic, to the haunted Highlands in which the Loch Ness monster is rumoured to roam. 

Rich, deep, greens lure us in amongst the trees, inviting us to explore Sleeping Beauty’s forest or Mowgli’s jungle home. From the honeydew hues of Tinkerbell to the chartreuse skin of the Wicked Witch of the West, delicate, more complex greens conjure childhood memories of fairytale characters.

With the wave of a metaphorical magic wand, these multifaceted shades have the power to transport us back to our childhood or another world entirely. And now, these shades can be in your store.

It’s no coincidence that the colour green also represents envy – because after exploring our magical selection of green autumn products, you’ll wish you could order them all!

Home & decor:



Specialty foods:






Concept stores:


Need more inspiration? Take a look at our other articles and discover our experts’ selections of unique products and authentic brands!

Sun, Sea, and Sales: Get your online store summer-ready in 6 simple steps

Your ticket to a worry-free summer holiday starts here! Follow this checklist to prepare your online store before setting sail on a delightful summer holiday.


Picture : No Broccoli shop in Amsterdam.

Read on to discover the 6 must-dos before you jet off:

1. Store ready, mind at ease

Get your store ready for your absence by tending to these essential details.

  • Make sure your entire catalogue is online and up to date.
  • Verify that your Ankorstore prices align with those listed on your other professional sales channels.
  • Anticipate your retailers’ expectations:
    • Adjust delivery times
    • Add tracking links


2. Clear your seasonal stock

A fast, effective way to boost your sales.

  • Bundle complementary products of unsold stock and sell.
  • Set up a promotion of your products.
  • Send an e-mail campaign to your customers from “My Network” or with your own CRM tool.

Top Tip: To ensure your promotion has the greatest impact, run it for a maximum of 7 days.


3. Get ready for the back-to-school buzz

Create your action plan and set the stage for the next quarter.

  • Research upcoming sales and trade highlights to stay ahead of the game.
  • Prepare irresistible offers and a strategic communication plan. 
  • Share your brilliant plan with your team to ensure everyone is in sync.

Top Tip: Fortune favors the prepared! Anticipate and plan for sales events at least 2 months in advance for maximum impact.


4. Communicate with your retailers and stay connected

Nurture strong retailer relationships and keep them informed so they can prepare too.

  • Draft your out-of-office message and include options to inform your customers about:
  • Let them know about expected shipping times for orders.
  • Follow up and encourage them to place orders before you leave.

Top Tip: Remind merchants who have used your personal referral code that they get 20% off all their orders for 60 days.


5. Ensure inbound sales with smart strategies

Effortlessly generate orders.

  • Supercharge your website by installing the Ankorstore widget or redirect link for seamless access.
  • Get an Insta-impact by mentioning you’re on Ankorstore in your Instagram bio for increased visibility.
  • Include your Ankorstore store page link in your away post to successfully redirect customer requests related to your business.

Top Tip: Make it easy for customers to find you. Add Linktree to your Instagram bio and house multiple links in one convenient spot.


6. Automate your campaigns for an uninterrupted presence

Help your merchants keep you top of mind even while you’re away.

  • Prepare engaging emails and schedule them with ease using your CRM tool.
  • Create and schedule compelling content on your social networks by using tools like Later to automate post publishing.
  • Streamline support by including a link to Ankorstore Customer Service in your away message, and our dedicated team will handle any order-related queries during your absence.

Top Tip: Repurpose your content across different communication channels to amplify your impact and reach a wider audience.


→ Download your checklist


We wish you a splendid summer holiday!

Ready to enhance your Ankorstore experience? Take a look at our Brand Success Guide on Ankorstore and unleash your brand’s potential.



Check out our last article: 

Increase your sales with Ankorstore's benefits: expand your network and facilitate your reorders

1. Expand your network and increase your conversion rate with our Referral Offer

Our Referral Offer is a unique marketing tool that you can use to invite your prospects and existing customers to Ankorstore.

How does it work?

Invite your business contacts to shop on Ankorstore through the “Campaigns” tool from your account, by sharing the link to your shop page or by installing the Ankorstore Widget on your website.

The retailers that you invite will receive a unique Referral Code that will allow them to benefit from a discount on their first order with your brand. They will also enjoy a 20% discount on their Ankorstore orders for the next 60 days. This offer is valid for new Ankorstore retailers only.

(For more information about the eligibility of our independent retailers, click here).

Retailers can benefit from the discount on their first order with your brand by entering the unique Referral Code at checkout.

What’s the benefit for me as a brand?

  • You develop your network of professionals by encouraging new customers to buy from your brand on Ankorstore.
  • You sell products to your customers with a discount, which is covered in full by Ankorstore.

Where can I find my unique Referral Code?

You will find your personal Referral Code in the ‘My Network’ tab of your Ankorstore account, in the bar at the top of the page.

2. Increase your reorders

We know that brands like yours rely on reorders from loyal customers to keep their business running. On our platform, you will find a number of tools to facilitate the process of reordering and thus increase your sales.

Use our ‘Prepared Orders’ feature

This feature allows you to simplify the ordering process for your customers and increase your average basket. 

You can take orders directly from your retailers and prospects via email, WhatsApp, phone or in person, and send them a pre-filled basket, even when they don’t yet have an account on Ankorstore. All they have to do is make the payment.

For more information, click here.

Offer a personalised discount to your retailers

Increase your conversion rate: use our ‘Personalised Discount’ feature to encourage a customer to place an order, reward a retailer for their loyalty or offer them the same benefits as buying directly from you. 

Useful information: 

  • Discounts range from 1% to 70%, apply to your entire catalogue and can be customised by retailer.
  • You can apply a discount to retailers of your choice, as long as they have an Ankorstore account and are in your MyNetwork contact list. 
  • Discounts are covered in full by your brand and you can manually remove them at any time.

For more information, click here.

‘Reorder’ feature for retailers

Retailers can easily reorder their favourite products from your brand in one click by going to the ‘Reorder’ tab of their Ankorstore account. 

For more information, click here.

Discover all of our tips, tricks, and best practices to succeed on Ankorstore in our Brands success guide.