Tips and Insight on becoming a profitable retail store

Avoid the “Oops!” with Open To Buy.

We all love to buy! It’s easy and all the reps are so encouraging. They want us to never miss a sale so they suggest we buy MORE. If everything in life could be this simple. Finding great items for our store and ordering it from our good friends. When the merchandise comes is, we’re … Read more

Don’t Give Away Your Profits!

With all the discount madness going on to drive customers to your store or your site, you want to make sure that at the end of the season you wind up with a profit – and a large one at that. It’s not going to happen if you are marking down regular priced merchandise to … Read more

Don’t let Black Friday leave you in the Red!

As soon as the turkey leg is picked clean and the pumpkin pie has been devoured, America will head to the car or the keyboard for Black Friday bargains. I’m sure you’re already prepared with your “deals”, but I hope they’re not markdowns from regular prices because that leaves you with no money for overhead … Read more

An Open To Buy Primer.

What is Open To Buy? Open to buy is a mathematical process that will enable a retailer to know how much to buy. What drives an Open To Buy? Just like every retail store, open to buy is driven by anticipated sales and desired turnover. Why is Turnover important? The advantage in retail over other … Read more

You can teach old dogs new tricks – if they’re open to it.

Now I certainly don’t think retailers are dogs, but they do get set in their ways. More than not, they have established their own method of buying because of supplier pressure, old habits or just lack of knowledge about their needs. And while change isn’t easy (new mindset required), it will make the difference between … Read more

“Witch” way is Your Store Headed?

Hey, it’s Halloween and I couldn’t resist, but still, it’s a valid question. You’re either moving ahead or falling behind. Sadly, most retailers only look at sales to gauge their progress, but you need to look beyond sales to your bottom line. Sure, if sales are rising you’re doing something right. You’re buying the right … Read more

Scary? Buying without an Open To Buy Plan!

It’s nothing short of amazing how many retailers are willing to commit their buying dollars based on gut instincts and advice from the sales reps. If you’re one of them, it’s time to make a change that will transform your store from a hobby to a money machine. Sure, you know what your customers’ want … Read more

Let Open To Buy Determine Your Store Size

When you first leased your store, you were probably planning for success and then additional growth. Let’s hope it happened that way, but more often than not, reality falls short of expectations. In preparation for opening, you probably filled your store with great merchandise to insure that all of your customers found what they wanted. … Read more

Open To Buy will help you Maintain Your Balance!

Everything in life is a balancing act, especially in retail. If you keep your balance, you come out ahead. If you lose your balance, you’re in trouble. Too many people ignore this principal and too many of them are retailers. The biggest balancing act for any retailers is between items and quantities. It’s just too … Read more

Evaluate Your Inventory with Open To Buy

As we get our stores ready for holiday shoppers, the most important thing you can do is to highlight the merchandise that has slowed or stopped selling. So, now is the time to evaluate your inventory. The first indicator of inventory imbalance would be from your open to buy system. Since it’s based on anticipated … Read more

Are You Flying by the Seat of Your Pants?

We’ve all heard that expression and while it seems to indicate a sense of freedom, it also bodes well for trouble. Too many retailers “fly by the seat of their pants” when doing their buying. Without adequate planning, this method of buying, while invigorating because of lack of restraints will always lead to overbuying, markdowns, … Read more

Is Your Turn Rate Ideal?

Over the years, retailers have asked me, “What turn rates should I use – industry standards, industry averages, or what?” Your buying must be predicated on projected sales and desired turn rates. An open to buy plan will direct you to buy the right quantities in the right departments to support your sales and actually … Read more

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