Going to Las Vegas? Are you ready with your buying plan? Are you going to the parties thrown by your vendors and retail services companies? Do you know why they are having parties?
Of course, you realize they want your business. They hope by showing you a good time, you’ll show them your money. Your vendors (and those that aren’t) want you in a generous mood when you look at their lines. Conversations will touch on the parties to remind you of how much enjoyment you savored at their expense. Now write an order.
The retail services companies will dazzle you with their presentations and how much they can help your business grow with all the “bells and whistles” they offer. All of the myriad alphabet indicators or retail acronyms will be thrown about and raised to high importance: AOV, ASP, COGS, EOM, GM$, GM%, GMF, GMROI, IPQ, OTB, P&L, POS, POP, ROI, RTV, SG&A, SKU, TO, WOS, and many more.
Will you be impressed or intimidated with all of these? Actually, even though the good folks who want your business will insist on the value of all of the indicators that they so proudly support and supply, there’s only one that will make a difference in your store – OTB.
Open to buy is the one thing that every retailer needs to succeed. Without an accurate open to buy plan, you’re left to guess about your needs and that always leads to overbuying. So, an open to buy plan is critical. But they’re not all created equal. Your open to buy needs to be predicated on anticipated sales and desired turn rates. In addition there needs to be several adjustments to make sure that the sales impact of each month is taken into account.
You can have information on all of the indicators above (which are about the past and not about the future), but they won’t help if you buy improperly and wind up with too many invoices and markdowns which eliminate your contribution to overhead and profits.
There’s a lot more to retailing than the cocktail parties you’re heading to. Enjoy them, but don’t drink the cool aid. When you’re ready to make money in retailing, you’re ready for myotbplan.com.