Timing Your First Markdowns

Q: As we head further into the spring season, when should I be taking my first markdowns? Last year, when the economy was worse, I took markdowns much earlier than usual. Should I be moving up my promotional schedule this year as well? A: We’re expecting major retailers to lead with markdowns in mid-May. Independent […]

Taking Advantage of Sales Momentum

Q: Business has picked up for me over the last couple of weeks. How can I take advantage of the sales momentum? A: To take advantage of the momentum, focus on flowing new goods and promoting those goods to your key customer base to keep them coming back. Also, keep your store looking fresh and […]

A Clothing Resurgence?

Q: Looking toward fall, do you expect clothing to make a resurgence or will sportswear continue to dominate? If clothing does come back, what will be the drivers? A: All indications are that Sportswear will be the leader. However, merchants that are Clothing-driven will see an uptick in replacement buying. We predict that the hybrid […]

What’s Trending This Spring?

Q: I’m rearranging my floor and I want to put the hottest items up front. What do you predict will be the fastest moving items this spring? A: The strength of activity will be in tops; whether it will be knits or sport shirts will depend on the store. Back the tops up with trending […]

Stocks Are Up…What About Sales?

Q: The stock market and consumer confidence are picking up. Are these signs of a unilateral increase in sales for this month? A: We are seeing a pickup in business, but it is gradual. We expect the trend over the next 6 months to be up 5% to 6% That being said, the range will […]

Slow Sales In January and February

Q: January and February have been very slow. How do I get business to pick up? A: You have to have new goods to sell. Vendors are running up against their completion dates, so if you haven’t landed new merchandise yet call up your vendors and ask to get the new goods delivered as soon […]

The Scarcity of Off-Price Goods

Q: Over the last two seasons I bought a lot of off-price merchandise, which helped my margin. I‘ve noticed that there is a lot less off-price merchandise now so how much margin should I expect to make? A: You’re right—there is a scarcity of off-price merchandise but you need to keep your margin up because […]

In-Season Buying

Q: We held back a lot of orders for fall and then bought more merchandise in-season. I still have a lot of OTB for spring—should I hold off buying until in-season again? A: In-season goods, especially off-price goods, will be harder to find this spring so we are recommending that your OTB does not exceed […]

Trends for Fall 2010

Q: I’m about to go to market. Should I expect a lot of change in what’s trending from now to next fall? A: Although we haven’t seen the market for fall 2010 yet, we do know that our business has a relatively slow change in trends, so outerwear and knitwear will probably continue to trend […]

Last Minute Markdowns

Q: Christmas is a little over a week away and my business is doing just okay. Should I start taking deeper markdowns? A: It depends on how you’re trending. If you’re still doing as well as last week and don’t feel that you are really missing any trends, then stay put. However, if you are […]