Here are some tips for stocktaking

Several retail experts, I have spoken to recommend that a shop should count all stock four times a year, as well as doing monthly stock takes for various high-risk departments such as tobacco much more. Personally, I have never known a stocktake, not to find something of interest. It is the only way to determine much about your actual stock. However, whatever in theory it is coming to the end of the financial year, and all stock should be counted soon.

A typical client of ours, tend to take about four working days to count the stock, so its not a minor investment.

Here are some tips.

Prepare - Set an actual date for the stocktake take.

Estimate what you are going to do when. Try if possible to pick a quiet period to avoid distractions. You can either do a rolling stock take which allows it to be done in stages, which is what we suggest or do it all in one hit, which is what many of our clients prefer.

Make sure that on this day, your point-of-sale system is up to date with the stock receiving and sales.

Go over the shop and make some order so all the stock is tidy and together.

Make policy in advance

How you will handle damaged stock?

How you will count? For an English speaker, the convention is to go from top to bottom, left to right. Set the convention to be systematic. This avoids counting duplications.


You may have known how to do it last year but the odds are you need a refresher course. So do one or two small sections first as a test run to get a feel of what is involved before the big day? Learn the correct computer procedures, I do not suggest you try a learn when you have extra staff counting. It is going to cost you time and money while you get organised.

Stocktake day

Do a backup at the start just in case,

Make sure that you have enough staff when the stocktake is required.

Have a place markers for each staff member so it is clearly marked where they start and where they are up too.

Make sure that the supervisor of the area is available if required.

If possible count everything although be aware that sometimes you will need to estimate.

Do a backup at the end just in case, I have seen people enter everything in and someone not knowing exactly what to do has gone into some section and wrecked all the figures. The stocktake had to be redone.