It’s amazing how often we (figuratively) assume this position. In a way, it protects us from a lot of unpleasantness. World news, the weather, riots, racism, and so many other things are more palatable when ignored. Sometimes it’s even healthy to do this as there are so many things in our lives that prompt stress and unhappiness.
But doing this when it comes to your buying is a recipe for disaster. While it may be easier and more pleasurable to ignore (or never create) a buying plan based on anticipated sales and desired turn rates, it will ultimately come back to wreak havoc with your bottom line.
How much of your buying is over indulgent? How much winds up as markdowns? How much creates cash flow problems? How much does it cost you to handle the excess inventory, let alone the excess invoices? Very few retailers consider these things when they are in front of a rep writing orders. The reps are encouraging you to buy more, not less. You certainly don’t want them to think you are not a power buyer, so you buy more. How many times are you encouraged to buy more because you are offered discounts or dating? Will your sales cover these enticements or will your markdowns totally wash them away?
While setting up and operating a buying plan (more accurately, an open to buy plan) will require some time and effort, buying without a plan will will require a great deal more time and effort to correct your buying mistakes. Not only is an open to buy plan critical, it is vital that your plan be easy to use, accurate, accessible, affordable, and well supported. If it’s not, look elsewhere.
If you have an open to buy plan, that’s a step in the right direction. If it’s not giving you information that allows you to tighten and balance your inventory, turn it faster, reduce your markdowns and improve your cash flow or if you simply don’t have an open to buy plan, take another look at the ostrich at the beginning of this blog. If you recognize yourself (or at least your planning strategy), you should give us a call.