Q: I sell both menswear and women’s wear and I traditionally start landing my fall women’s merchandise in June and my fall men’s merchandise in July, but it seems like the retail cycles have moved up. Should I be landing these fall goods earlier?
A: You’re right — the fall cycle has changed. Customers want to see newness on a regular basis. I suggest that you land some new fall merchandise when you’re taking your summer markdowns.
For women’s wear this will be at the end of May, and for menswear this will be in June. Land at least some of your fall product during these markdown cycles. Having new merchandise on hand during the sale cycle will increase the average margin on hand. Remember, your ability to generate margin is based on your margin on hand.