The holidays are here and you’re focused on making your store as attractive as possible to bring in sales. Many are depending on these next two months to save their year. But as you load up your store for holiday selling, are you keeping in mind that your focus should be on January – for two important reasons?

After the frenzied holiday buying, business will be noticeably quieter in January and February. If you’re left after the holiday selling with excess inventory, you’ll have reduced traffic and too many invoices. Definitely a bad combination. To come up with cash to pay these invoices, retailers resort to drastic markdowns to turn this merchandise into usable funds. Markdowns kill your profits and rob you of needed cash to pay your overhead.

The only way to avoid this situation is with an open to buy plan and the sooner it is in place, the sooner you will know where you stand in terms of your current inventory and future orders. Now is the time to put your selling emphasis on what you own and move it out rather than load up with new items that will still be around next year.

Your open to buy plan will tell you what your ideal inventory should be right now and on December 1st and January 1st. The trick is to have enough merchandise to support your holiday sales, but bring your inventory down (without markdowns) going into your slower selling months. That’s really the only way to make money as a retailer. And you can’t do it in your head.

Your open to buy plan will help you maximize your sales at the highest possible turn rates and leave you with cash in the bank rather than a store full of markdowns. It shouldn’t be a tough choice and the smart retailers will get started with an open to buy plan ASAP!


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