How much open-to-buy should I place for spring?

Q: I just got back from the spring shows and the news about the economy is pretty negative. How much open-to-buy should I place for spring, given the possibility of a downturn?

A: You’re right, the news isn’t great, but don’t let it scare you. However, we do know that retail sales tend to decrease after an election year so your best bet is to plan conservatively. Take what you spent last year and dial it back by about 5 percent. So, if you placed 85 percent of your OTB upfront last year, this year you should place 80 percent. This is just a change by degrees, but it should put you in a smart position for spring.

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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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