Now I certainly don’t think retailers are dogs, but they do get set in their ways. More than not, they have established their own method of buying because of supplier pressure, old habits or just lack of knowledge about their needs.
And while change isn’t easy (new mindset required), it will make the difference between success and failure. It’s amazing how many retailers continue to struggle without “open to buy” planning. They buy too much, have cash flow problems, take markdowns and wonder why they don’t make money in their stores.
While buying the right items is an art, buying the right quantities is science. It doesn’t really matter how great the items are, if you overbuy you will wind up with markdowns. Wouldn’t it be great to know exactly how much to buy – in each department, each month for the next 12 months. With this information (if you follow it) and your knowledge of what your customers want, you will set yourself up for success.
But you cannot do it in your head (as you should realize by now) and need to get a good open to buy plan set up. You’re now going into your “busy” season, so it’s a great time to have your open to buy information in front of you. You’ll immediately see where your inventory is out of balance and know what to push during the holiday buying frenzy. You’ll also see where your outstanding orders need to be refined so you are not stocking up to mark down.
In a few hours, your open to buy system will be on the job giving you the information you need to succeed. So, even if you’re an old dog, you can learn new tricks and what a difference it will make to your bottom line.