Everyone talks about their “open to buy” but very few retailers actually have one. They talk about it because they want to sound like they know what they’re doing (buying), but if you don’t really have a solid, accurate open to buy, you’re going to get it wrong.
Open to buy is all about math. It’s a mathematical process that takes current inventory, projected sales, desired turnover and ideal future inventories and builds a buying plan for each month in each merchandise department for the next 12 months. And if it’s really accurate, it will have annual turn rates for each merchandise department and adjust those annual turn rates to reflect the sales impact of each month because in your stronger selling months, the turn will be higher than the annual and in your weaker selling months it will be lower. Additionally, your open to buy needs to be sure there are no negative open to buy amounts when you do the calculations. This will happen when you go from a strong selling month into a weaker selling month and you cannot have a negative OTB amount.
So, there actually is a lot of math involved. The bad news is that even though it’s complex you MUST have open to buy information if you want to buy the right quantities. The good news is that there’s a system that will do all of this for you and give you an easy to read buying plan that you can access from any computer, tablet or smartphone so whenever a rep asks you for an order, you will already KNOW HOW MUCH TO BUY.
The system is myotbplan.com and it’s really easy to use, has help screens for every screen, is supported 10 hours every day of the year, has no contract, and is guaranteed to improve your buying, inventory position and cash flow or we’ll refund you payments. You need to focus on finding the best items to meet your open to buy plan. Let us focus on providing you with that plan. We’ll do the math, you’ll make the money. Let’s talk!