Number are NOT retailers’ favorite things. We all love product, displays, customers, advertising, store decor and so many other things that have nothing to do with numbers (except perhaps big markup numbers).
But numbers run the world and that includes the world inside your store. Everything is based on numbers and so you must try to love the numbers that will lead you to greater profits. The most important numbers are your open to buy numbers. If you forgot all of the others and only focused on open to buy, you’d insure your success. Of course, there’s no harm in dealing on a positive level with all of the numbers that comprise your overhead, but the first numbers to embrace are your open to buy numbers.
The simple truth is that your buying is your bottom line. Buy too little and you’ll miss sales (usually not a problem), but buy too much and you’ll be buried with excess invoices, bloated inventories, markdowns and cash flow problems. Those numbers (which you are already familiar with) do not cause any joy. Those numbers will be eliminated if you have the correct open to buy numbers.
We can assume that you buy the right items. That’s your forte. Now you need to buy the right quantities. That’s open to buy planning. You can’t do it in your head (or even on a spreadsheet), there’s just too many variables. Your open to buy plan should be for each department for each month for the next 12 months. Each department will have it’s own turn rates (that should be adjusted to reflect the sales impact of each month). Then you need to compensate for going from a strong selling month to a weak selling month or visa versa. So, yes, there’s a lot of numbers. Having a solid open to buy plan like myotbplan.com will make it easy, insure accuracy and accessibility with no contract and our guarantee to improve your buying, inventory position and cash flow.
The sooner you put your numbers into myotbplan.com and let us help you determine your buying plan, the sooner you’ll be able to make the numbers work for you and enjoy the creative side of retailing. Let’s talk!