If you were thinking about going out in groups rather than alone, that’s not what this post is about. It’s about retailers who do not realize or refuse to accept the importance of the numbers that should be the basis of every decision they make for their store.
Most retailers are keenly aware of their rent, their payroll, and their promotional budget, but too few are creating – and following – their buying numbers. While putting together and maintaining an enticing retail operation, the buying must not be based on the whims of the buyers or the input from reps that service your store. The buying must be based on an “open to buy” plan that is created from anticipated sales and desired turn rates.
Sales and turn are the two elements that drive any retail store. Your goal is always to maximize sales, but at the same time you must try to maximize turnover. Of course sales are important, without sales there’s no business. But the key to making money at retail is turnover. A solid open to buy plan will be built on sales and turnover, develop ideal inventory levels, and create a buying plan based on these elements that you can use to guide your creative buying.
Most retailers fail because they buy too much merchandise and cannot pay their bills. You can expect that result if you work without an open to buy plan. Guessing never works, no matter how well you know your store or how well you know your customer.
So, if you want your store to provide a safe haven for your creative talents that will be there next year and beyond, you need the safety that comes from following the numbers that will be developed by your open to buy plan.
Aside from that, you can also feel safer when you go out in a group. You’ll even be able to tell them how well your store is doing.