When beginning to sell off items that won't be necessary any longer, either for the end of the year or else at the end of a season when the new clothes will come in soon, it becomes necessary to charge the store with a certain atmosphere of frivolous gaiety. This act of visual merchandising will inspire people to shop more. Think about the kind of store that plays fun, cheerful music and has balloons floating in the air. People like to shop there for sales because of how much fun it is. Largely, a sale is about having a good time and getting bargains that won't be available again. As such, owners will want to promote a spirit of lighthearted adventure through the use of props. As an end of the year sale, it wouldn't be inappropriate to use themed displays matching the festive mood of holidays that have only recently passed.
Another useful tool for inspiring a shopping spree will be crates and containers. Set up a lot of these – items like bushel baskets or large metal tubs. Fill them up with all the clothes you need to get rid of, and put them into a certain order, such as the most to least discounted, and people and gather around, picking and choosing from the sorted piles.
Another, perhaps less chaotic, but still spirited, way of showing merchandise is to isolate certain display racks and use them for the sales. People will have an easier time looking through the items like this, although it may not be as fun as sorting all the way to the bottom of a very large basket. When setting up a shopping spree like this, you will want to tag the items so people know what the discount figure is.
Ways to inspire people to shop for a longer time
Sometimes people will only drop by a sale early in the day to find the best items, and then leave quickly. One way to capitalize on getting people to stay or at least come back is to hold raffles with small prizes. These can be as simple as discounts or as complex as stuffed animals, but they shouldn't be anything very expensive. It would be good to have a jar of some kind to hold the raffle tickets, and then sort through it with your hands, arbitrarily choosing one.
For a final contest at the end of the day, consider showing a large two-gallon hex jar filled with jelly beans. Whoever can count how many beans there are or come closest to the right number would win the biggest prize at the close of the sale. This is a great way to make people stick around because they will spend a lot of time looking at the jar, perhaps measuring it with a ruler and making predictions.
A good way to incentivizing purchases is to say that every item bought in the store earns one raffle ticket and one guess at the jelly bean jar. This way everyone will want to shop a lot.