How will the ‘fiscal cliff’ affect retailers?

Q: Now that the election is over I’m hearing a lot of talk about the ‘fiscal cliff’ and how it could negatively affect the economy. How should I prepare for this?

A: There is a lot of noise around the fiscal cliff right now, and at this point we’re not sure exactly how it will play out. My best advice is to plan conservatively as we head into 2013.

Your spring buys should be wrapped up, but as you go to market for fall try to stay under-bought by 10 percent. If the economy contracts, you will be in a better inventory position, but if business turns out to be good, you should have no trouble getting the extra 10 percent of inventory you may need. Think positive and plan conservatively until we know the details of these economic issues.

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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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