Inventory definition including break down of areas in the definition. Analyzing the definition of key term often provides more insight about concepts. Inventory can be defined as: Good a company owns and expects to sell in its normal operations. Inventory or merchandise inventory are assets a company expects to sell to generate money. Merchandise inventory is an asset and all assets are held to help the company achieve the goal of generating revenue in the future. Merchandise inventory differs in that this asset will help generate revenue through the sale of the asset as opposed to the use of the asset. Many different tips of things can be classified as either an asset or inventory depending on the use of the item. For example, a fork lift could be a fixed asset or inventory depending on whether the company uses it or holds it in order to sell it.