Tips and Insight on becoming a profitable retail store

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

Pay More Taxes Next Year (happily)!

Hey, no one wants to pay taxes at all, but to keep government working to provide all of the services we’ve come to expect, we all must cough up some of our hard earned money. Now this post is not on the tax code or how your accountant labors to find loop holes and deductions … Read more

Will your Open to Buy tell you when to STOP BUYING?

Retailers love to buy. They know what their customers want and they never want to disappoint them. So they buy more… and more. But too much of a good thing is a bad thing! That’s not just a cute saying – it’s the truth. Retailers consider buying an art. And to some degree it is. … Read more

Reduce Markdowns in 5 Minutes!

If you give me a call and we can talk for five minutes, I can show you how you can reduce your markdowns dramatically. As you know, markdowns kill your profits. You have to sell at least 80% of your inventory at FULL price just to break even. So when you start taking markdowns to … Read more

Open to Buy, because Your Buying is Your Bottom Line!

The biggest variable in your store is inventory. There is little change in overhead from month to month, but excess merchandise invoices create markdowns and cash flow problems when you overbuy. Trade shows and merchandise marts bring you the best items to tempt your customers, but the manufacturers require orders be placed far ahead of … Read more

Are you buying at Cost or Retail?

When you’re in front of a rep or vendor and see an item you think would be great in your store, what’s the first question you ask? Of course, it’s “how much is it?” That’s a great question, but it really should be your SECOND question. Your first question should be, BEFORE you know the … Read more

Headed to a Trade Show? Don’t forget your OTB Plan!

Working a trade show should be just that – work! It’s not a time for fun or special meals or gatherings. Those things are distractions and usually intended to buy your allegiance to a vendor. Retain your independence and spend a lot of time learning what’s available before you commit your dollars. The harder you … Read more

A Parable with a Moral.

THE PARABLE Once upon a time in a town just like yours there was a retailer just like you. He loved to buy and had the ability to select terrific merchandise. He thought he had a “feel” for quantities, but always seemed to overbuy. He was offered so many deals, discounts and dating plans that … Read more

A+ B + C = OTB?

Many years ago, I was giving a seminar in New York on open to buy planning. Part way through the presentation, a woman put up her hand. Her question was: “Isn’t there a simple formula like A+B+C that will give you a buying plan?” I told her that if there were, we wouldn’t be here … Read more


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