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Go Back to www.FleaMarketZone.com MANAGEMENT Managing Seasonal


Deliveries continued from page 111


vendors and promotional mer- chandise. Once this exercise is complete you are ready to tackle the timing issue. Building orders and planning


delivery dates is an essential component to a sound mer- chandise plan. Remember that your customers like to see new merchandise just as much as your sales people enjoy selling it, which means you need a fresh fl ow of merchandise arriving throughout the season. Many retailers have a habit of front loading, or landing most of the merchandise early in the season.


The store may look great early on, but it can look equally as bad as the season matures with less desirable sizes on key styles dominating the assortment mix. Stores that front load often com- mit so much of the OTB to early shipments that cash is not read- ily available for size fi ll-ins and off-price opportunities that may exist at season’s end. This prac- tice slows inventory turnover, interrupts cash fl ow, and poten- tially restricts volume growth. Many vendors offer price


advantages or extra dating (ex- tra days from the invoice date in which to pay the bill) if you permit them to land merchan- dise early. This approach often backfi res because the merchan- dise is picked over before the


season begins. Moreover, the sales associates are tired of the merchandise before the season arrives. If business does not pan out as planned you already have an entire season’s worth of stock. Had you written backup orders on key styles, you would have had much more fl exibility in modifying or even canceling as a last resort. Just as landing merchandise


too early can be dangerous, so is landing it too late. Landing merchandise too late could be inviting markdowns because there is too little time remaining in the season to sell the goods at full price. This is the major reason why an in-store comple- tion or cancellation date should


continued on page 116


112 March 2012


INDEPENDENTRETAILER


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