When a manufacturer first offers a line of products, they will do anything to be represented in your store. That gives you most of the power. After they build up a retailer and consumer client base, they begin to dictate how you buy their line and that gives them the power.
It’s your store and your goal should not be to please the vendors, but to make money. Once you lose sight of that, you’re in trouble. I’ve heard too many retailers tell me that they have to have a certain vendor’s products in their store and that the vendor dictates what they have to buy. In every case, the retailer is overstocked and getting very low turnover on the dollars invested with the vendor.
The vendor is doing great. The retailer is constantly losing money. Something has to change. That change will come with open to buy planning. In a few hours of setup, the retailer will see how their invested dollars are performing (or not) and hopefully wake up to reality. No matter how “popular” a line is, if you don’t make money with it, there’s no reason to have it.
Open to buy will show you where your inventory and future orders are out of balance. Let your vendors know that you can no longer buy the way they have forced you to do in the past. If they won’t work with you, there are other vendors that will. Sell down their line and replace it with products from vendors that appreciate your business.
Stop dealing with manufacturers that see your relationship as a one way street. Your open to buy plan will clearly define what’s going on and allow you to make buying decisions that are in your favor and stop your vendors from controlling your store.