When is it time to mark down?

Q: The big department stores in my area have already started to go on sale. Sales are slowing a bit in my business, but I’m not ready to mark down yet. Is this a mistake?

A: You should start taking markdowns now. Because we’re at the end of the season, department stores have already begun marking down, and they’ll be fully engaged by the end of May. You risk having to take deeper markdowns later if you do not take them now, and you could lose business.

Also, you need space on your floor for next season’s early product, so you can start generating margin again.

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avatar About Steve Pruitt

Steve Pruitt is founder and Senior Consultant of Blacks Retail Analysis and Blacks Consulting. With over 30 years of experience, Steve is one of the most respected merchandise analysts in the industry. His specialty is apparel merchandising and he has worked with clients in every sector of this category. Steve’s approach is highly customized; he tailors his analyses to the particular needs and market of each client. His work ties together the merchandising piece of the business with the client’s overall financial goals to increase sales and streamline operations. Steve is also a trusted general business consultant, known for his ability to help retailers plan growth and manage change.
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