What to do with slow-moving product


Q: I picked up a few new spring lines that just aren’t selling. What should I do? A: First, ask yourself if you properly placed and promoted the new items. If you did, and customers just didn’t care for them, it’s time to start taking markdowns. Or, you can go back to your vendor and […]

Making the most of spring trunk shows


Q: How can I make the most of my spring trunk shows? A: That’s a good question since trunk shows are still an important part of many of our retailers’ businesses. Instead of doing the same thing you do every year, add something that will make the event fun and unique. For instance, some retailers […]

Are we still in a recovery upswing?


Q: What does February’s continued retail sales momentum say about the economic recovery? Are consumers starting to return to their old mindset, or are we still in the recovery upswing and may see flat growth soon? A: I think the consumers are still in the recovery upswing and I don’t think we will see them […]

A slowdown for fall?


Q: I’ve heard that this fall won’t be as strong as last fall. What should I do to prepare now for this likely slowdown? A: Yes, after gains for two seasons there is typically a slowdown, though, this rule may not hold true for all stores. It could be argued that while the fall of […]

Trending: Outdoor, slimmer bodies, fancier goods


Q: What trends did you see in the fall ’11 market last month? A: There’s definitely an outdoor trend going on, but for most of our clients (in the luxury market) that doesn’t have much of an effect on their business. Heavier sweaters, boots and knits were all making an appearance. Among our clients, we’re […]

The right and wrong way to take markdowns


Are you seeing any reoccurring mistakes that retailers are making after the holiday season? Is there a right and wrong way to take markdowns? A: The right way to take markdowns is progressively; do not hold on to your markdowns too long. If you don’t take a deep enough markdown, the goods won’t sell. Taking […]

Will 2010’s sales growth continue in 2011?


Q: What predictions do you have for retail growth in 2011? Will we continue to see the sales rate we saw last year? A: I expect sales to be up around 7 to 8 percent in 2011 (among brick-and-mortars), which is a bit lower than the 10 percent growth rate we saw this last year. […]

Higher Prices at the Next Market

Q: All indications point to higher prices for the next market. Is this going to translate into higher markdowns as customers push back? A: That is a possibility but I sure hope steeper markdowns are not your strategy. No doubt the bar is going to be raised in terms of more value for the money. […]

Black Friday Sales

Q: I’m already seeing a lot of buzz about Black Friday sales in the news. How much should I expect to mark down this season, given that some of the bigger retailers are offering steep discounts? A: We’re expecting markdowns among our menswear retailers to be similar to last year’s. You don’t have to go […]

Holiday Planning

Q: How should I plan sales this holiday season? I’m reading the news but getting mixed predictions. A: Here at Blacks, we expect holiday sales to be up in the single digits over last year. You’ll probably see a steady build up to the season, with strength in sweaters, soft coats and outerwear for men. […]