It’s showtime!  Time to go to the trade shows to see all the great new merchandise.  But can you control your urge to buy everything in sight?

You are about to be tempted, romanced, encouraged, brow-beaten, threatened and sold (not necessarily in that order).  Anything you imagined will be at the show and it will be hard to pass up any of it – but you must if you want to survive.  Newly purchased merchandise will arrive creating euphoria.  Invoices will come due creating depression and panic.

If you have a plan – an open-to-buy plan – you are in the driver’s seat.  You know what your needs are based on what you expect (realistically) to sell in each category of merchandise at the turn rates you want to achieve.  You realize how important turnover is to your bottom line and your bottom line is what it’s all about. 

Some retailers think they have “retail radar”.  They know what’s hot and what their customers will buy.  But do you know how much to buy?  This is always the big question because too much of a good thing is a bad thing.  Open-to-buy planning determines how much you should buy in each category for each month.

An open-to-buy plan is always planning twelve months into the future.  As one month is completed, another is added to the plan.  No matter what deliveries are proposed, with an open-to-buy plan, you will know your needs and make the correct decisions.

If you’re headed to a show or just back from one, is it to late for open-to-buy?  Absolutely not! The best time to set up an open-to-buy plan is NOW.  As soon as you do, you will see where you made mistakes and can take action to bring yourself in line or prevent them at the show.

Shop the show! See everything before you buy anything. Being educated will help you select the best items to meet your dollar plan. 

So, enjoy the show.  But get your open-to-buy plan underway as soon as possible.  Your survival may depend on it – your success most certainly does!


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