There may come a time we can drive our cars with blindfolds or while we’re texting or watching a movie, but today, it’s insane. The same holds true about your store. While you know your customers, your merchandise, your competition and have a strong knowledge of the weather patterns, tourism, and your promotional schedule, without an open to buy plan you’re still going to get into trouble.
Now, we all know that retailing is one of the most ego driven professions there is, and no matter how creative you are, everything you do must be based on a solid foundation of numbers if you want to achieve financial success. And what could be a bigger boost to your ego than being a financial success – nothing!
So, while you feel you have a grip on everything and consequently will know how much merchandise to buy, you need to rethink your situation. Considering that most stores will have around 30 merchandise departments, and every year has 12 months, that’s already 360 bits of information to deal with in your head. Now add in turn rates. Turnover is the key to making money in retail and it must be considered if you are to succeed. So each department will operate at a different annual turn rate and since annual turn rates are an average for the year, each month will have a turn rate different from the annual.
So, it gets complicated and trying to do it in your head (or even) on a spreadsheet will not give you the answers you need. Only open to buy planning will produce a 12 month buying plan based on YOUR anticipated sales and YOUR desired turn rates so that you know how much to buy in each merchandise department each month for the next 12 months. Once you know how much to buy the knowledge that you possess about your customer, your store, and your competition and your creative ability will come into play.
Working with an open to buy plan allows you to take off the blindfold and actually get where you’re going in your store. Don’t let your ego hinder your success. Let your success boost your ego.