Really? What do flossing and open to buy have in common? Well, not too much except that no one enjoys the process and everyone enjoys the results. There are many things in life that must be done that are not really enjoyable, but if you make doing them part of your routine, the results are well worth the effort.
There are many things involved with running your store that fall into this category. Pretty much everything concerned with overhead would be as mundane as flossing. When you opened your store you were thinking of the creative aspects of retailing. Store, displays, merchandising, music, advertising, and trade shows are what make retailers excited.
And while that entire wonderful creative euphoric dream keeps retailers motivated, it is the underlying grunt work of retail that insures success. The most important of these underlying, supportive jobs is open to buy planning. And, yes, it’s a lot like flossing in that it must be done on a regular basis to ensure that your inventory stays clean, fresh, current, and turning, so inventory and invoice buildup doesn’t choke off your cash flow.
Flossing results in great dental checkups and long, happy service from your teeth. Using and maintaining open to buy planning results in leaner, better balanced, faster turning inventory, more targeted buying, fewer markdowns and a positive cash flow. So, it’s well worth the energy that must be spent on open to buy planning to allow you to reap the enjoyment that comes from creatively merchandising your store within the guidelines of your open to buy plan.
Your open to buy plan, if properly constructed, will tell you how much to buy in each merchandise category for each month, 12 months into the future. With that information you can better deal with shows and reps because knowledge is king. When you have your open to buy plan, you will always know how much to buy.