Absolutely! Sure, this is your selling season. This is the time to put your year in the black. Roll up your sleeves and move merchandise. Keep promoting! Keep staffing! Keep displaying! Keep selling!
But, this too shall pass. We all hopes it will pass after the customers clean out your store, but while all this is happening it’s important to keep your eye on 2016. Nothing in retail stands still. The vendors are getting their samples and their booths ready to dazzle you next month so you will commit for goods three, six months ahead or even further out. If you sit down with them unprepared, you will be setting up 2016 for the same problems of 2015.
Now is the time to make your plan – your open to buy plan a reality. Now is the time to figure out exactly how much you need to meet your sales, minimize your markdowns, grow your turnover, and insure a positive cash flow every month next year. Now is the time, not next year.
When you get to the show, if you have your plan, you can take your time and see everything before you start sitting with vendors to hear their presentations. There will be pressure to buy in many forms, but you should buy only what your plan indicates you need. If you “shop” the show before you start writing, you will be buying the best available merchandise to meet your dollar plan. That’s the only smart way to go.
Wear comfortable shoes, walk the floor, rate the merchandise, and then buy the best according to your open to buy plan. That’s the way to set yourself up for a prosperous 2016. And the time to do it is NOW!