Just as hurricane picks up everything in its path and swirls them around until it passes leaving devastation in its wake, operating a retail store with so many things needing your immediate attention feels a little like being in a hurricane. And no matter what you do, the hurricane continues to blow and problems result from making improper decisions about important matters.
Take advertising – how much do you spend, on what media, how frequently, will it actually impact your customers, how do you monitor the results, how do you justify the expenditure? And then there’s personnel, displays, store configuration, overhead, and, of course merchandising. I’m sure you could add more items to the list.
The point is that there are only a certain number of hours in the day and you must prioritize what takes your time. The largest and most important time suck is merchandising. What to buy, from whom, for what delivery, in what quantities? Then you have to deal with late shipments, over shipments, substitutions, damaged merchandise and more.
There’s no one answer to stop the hurricane, but there is a way to calm its fury. If you had a way to KNOW how much to buy, in each department, for each delivery month 12 months into the future, you would free up huge amounts of time to allow you to focus on all of the other issues reigning down on you every day.
The great thing about open to buy planning is that it will enable you to develop your buying plan based on YOUR anticipated sales at YOUR desired turn rates, so the guess work is gone. With a solid buying plan in hand, you can focus on the creative aspects of merchandising – the items – which is why you got into retailing in the first place. Choosing the best available merchandise to meet your buying plan insures that you will have great items in the right quantities to support your sales and yield a positive cash flow.
Sure, you’ll have to show some self restraint as the reps encourage you to buy MORE. You’ll be offered discounts and dating plans if you only buy MORE. But more than your buying plan will result in markdowns to move the excess merchandise and pay the excess invoices. And, predictably, you will lose money on all that extra merchandise which will rob the profits and contribution to overhead of the merchandise you sold at full price.
Now, you’re reading this information on our web site and so you know that when I say open to buy planning, I mean myotbplan.com. After 30 years of helping retailers with open to buy, you have the opportunity to benefit from all the knowledge and development that we’ve poured into myotbplan.com. It is simply the easiest to understand and use, the most accurate, the most accessible, the best supported, and the only one that’s guaranteed. And with all that, it’s the best value.
So, if you want to get out of the retail hurricane (at least the merchandising part) you should subscribe to myotbplan.com. There’s no contract and no risk, so do it today. It’s the best merchandising decision you’ll ever make.