Send a kid into a candy store and you’ll see some wide open eyes and great expectations. So, how do you insure that this kid won’t come home with an aching stomach? If you send the kid to the candy store with a credit card, you will be sure that large quantities of candy are purchased and consumed with abandon. Then, as expected, trouble ensues.
But, send that same kid to the candy store with a dollar and he’ll take his time thinking about each potentially delicious confectionary masterpiece envisioning how it will melt in his mouth and bring great joy. Time will be spent in making absolutely the best choices and when he leaves to sit in the park and enjoy his well considered items, he will truly be a happy camper.
Retailers are to some degree just like that kid when they go to market. Every retailer’s sweet tooth is the merchandise they want in their store. And the more, the merrier! But this is where the retailer can wind up with a stomach ache in terms of excess invoices, markdowns and cash flow problems when sales fail to cover their purchases.
The way to eliminate retailers from suffering the pangs of overbuying is to send them to market with a dollar. Well, not actually a dollar, but a retail dollar buying plan that is based on anticipated sales and desired turn rates. Equipped with this plan and the willingness to look at all available choices before placing orders will insure that the retailer orders only the best available merchandise for their store for each of the right departments to arrive at the right time to support anticipated sales and yield the desired turn rates.
While it sounds pretty simple (and it is) most retailers lack the motivation to spend the time to develop a buying plan and the discipline to research the available merchandise at a market or a merchandise mart before placing orders. It requires a lot of walking and a great deal of time. Most retailers get through a trade show as quickly as possible so they can get out to dinner or back to their store, but a trade show is a periodic event and each retailer should dedicate the time necessary to see everything before buying anything.
So, there are two elements to buying success. Creating a buying plan that is based on sales and turnover and committing the time and energy to research the available merchandise. Just going to a show to see your favorite suppliers, sitting with them at your appointed time, making small talk, reviewing their line and writing an order will leave you with a stomach ache – guaranteed.
It should be obvious that a change of attitude is required to start spending more time at shows. Remember that your buying is your bottom line and will always be the most important function in any store. And when you are ready to commit the time, you will need a buying plan and that’s where we come in.
myotbplan.com was designed to make planning your buying easy and accurate. We develop YOUR plan based on YOUR anticipated sales and YOUR desired turn rates. We take you through each step of developing and revising your plan in a sequential format with help information on every screen for each screen specifically. In addition, we support the program 10 hours every day so you are never more than a phone call away for any system or retail information you might want. Being on the internet, our program is available on any computer, tablet or smartphone, so you can take your plan to market with you. And when you need help, we can log into your data site and discuss your number with you to show you where the numbers came from and what they mean.
Don’t worry, you can still be a kid in the candy store when you go to market, you just need to go with a solid buying plan and more comfortable shoes.