Are you pumped? Are you ready? Are you ready to go toe to toe with the big boys? Is your staff pumped? Is your inventory overflowing? Have you started slashing prices?

Yes, folks, now is the time to throw away all of your profits. Retailers decided long ago to compete on PRICE rather than service or selection or environment or anything else you can imagine. It’s all about price. And the internet hasn’t helped much either.

It’s much like athletes and steroids. The unfair advantage. Cheating, if you will. Retailers have shot themselves in the foot (read wallet) and now are stuck playing a losing game. Special this = Markdowns, Black (put in the day) = Markdowns, Holiday that = Markdowns. And what do Markdowns equal? Generally more markdowns if you want to pay the bills.

If it were up to me, we’d all get in a room and work out rules so the retailers could all make money while serving up great merchandise at fair prices to happy customers. But it’s not and that’s not how the world works. If you have a customer, I want that customer and I don’t care what it takes to get him away from you. And what it usually takes is LOW PRICES.

But there comes a time when those low prices will not pay for rent and personnel and utilities and all the other things necessary to keep your store open. So, what do you do?

If you choose to play the game, you must control your inventory because letting it get too large is a big problem when it doesn’t sell. There’s only one way to control your inventory and that’s open to buy planning. If you’re not using it to plan your buying, you’re setting yourself up for trouble Open to buy planning is the only merchandising tool that will keep your inventory lean and turning and your cash flow positive.

If you continue to buy and markdown, you won’t be doing it for long. Here come the holidays, now is the time to get pumped on open to buy planning. Then you’ll be ready for anything.


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