How to Organize Your Inventory

How to Organize Your Inventory

April 23, 2020

Deciding how to organize your inventory can be challenging. Proper lighting, adequate shelving/pegboard and quality packing are a must. You also need to figure out the best way to display and organize your inventory.

You want your customers to be able to see everything you offer. They need to be able to navigate easily and you may want to steer them towards different products. There are a few different schools of thought when it comes to laying out inventory that I’ll cover here.

Grouping by brand

Quality packaging with proper branding highlights the brand but also the product inside the packaging. A large section of XYZ brand can look very appealing, almost impressive! A clean organized look will speak volumes for your store.

Doug Tingler, of Ohio River Outdoors in Williamstown, WV prefers to organize by brand.

“A lot of people in this area will ask for a particular brand. Categorizing by brand makes it easier for them to find exactly what the are looking for. It also looks great, it’s easier to organize, aids in reordering, and it represents the brands well.”

The brands you choose to carry can play an important role. Does the brand sell year-round? Is it primarily a seasonal seller? Is it a national or local brand? Do they have enough relevant product to have their own section in your store?

Grouping by product category

Another option is to group your inventory by technique or product category. You might organize all your topwater hard baits in their own section and your soft plastic creature bait in a different section, as an example.

The folks from The Loft at Bucks Island in Southside, AL prefer to organize by technique. Their tackle buyer said, “We try to make it easier for our customers to shop by the technique. My theory is this… if I organized everything by brand, they may never leave that brand. If I can show them all our creatures and craws in the same section, they may discover something else they like or want to try.”


Take grouping by product category one step further. Your product is a drop shot worm, as an example, the customer will need a drop shot hook and a drop shot weight. Consider merchandising these items together. The possibilities are endless!


I mentioned previously, the brand may not always have enough relevant product to warrant their own section. You may choose to highlight this brand on an endcap. This can be a new arrivals section, a top seller’s section, or a seasonal section. Your endcaps may change with the seasons and highlight specific techniques for that time.

Change it up

You decide how you want to organize your inventory, however changing it up from time to time is extremely important. Retail customers, especially men, can develop tunnel vision. Your customers are looking for a specific item and they know exactly where it has been located for the last five years. They will beeline right to it. You want to steer them past as many different products as possible. Changing the layout of the store or moving sections from one wall to another encourages your customers to break out of tunnel vision. Now they will see more of what you’re offering while looking around.

Hopefully, these tips will help you decide how to organize your store and remind you to rearrange from time to time. Helping to minimize the dreaded tunnel vision syndrome, keep your store fresh, and increase sales!