How to Ensure a Successful Seasonal Transition
As seasons change, so do customers, profits, and styles. Here are some general guidelines to follow in order to maximize your success in these transitional times.
Record Last Season Sales
This is a great place to start your planning without even realizing it. As you keep detailed records during prior seasons and months, you will have this information to predict upcoming trends when it comes time to plan for the next season. However, some planners, buyers, and merchandisers struggle with knowing to what extent to live by this information. It is merely a reference point but definitely a good place to start.
Develop Detailed Sales and Inventory Plans
It is important to create sales and inventory plans before a season begins to help guide you through the merchandise process. You should follow these plans strictly, and keep them in mind when making any buying decisions throughout a season. Allow a lot of time prior to the season to make these plans. Ask yourself what amount of inventory you want left at the end of the season to support sales and be sure that both plans reflect and strive for the same goals.
Adjust for Unusual Events
Even though it is important to follow your sales and inventory plans, it is even more crucial to not panic when unusual events occur. Unusual events can consist of severe weather change, out of stock items, unforeseen promotions and discounts, and more. Factor some breathing room into your plans to not be blind-sided if these events occur.
Discount Last Season Styles
Running promotions and sales on past season items is a good way to not only clear out some old inventory, but to also attract customers and drive traffic to your store in the new season. Account for these discounts in your sales and inventory plans, and budget far in advance in order to better estimate your markdown percentages.
Channel Your Inner Fashion Forecaster
A career in fashion forecasting encompasses the study of upcoming trends. These professionals focus on market conditions and consumers’ buying behaviors to predict fashion elements, including colors, fabrics, prints, materials, and more. Even thougtransition h fashion forecasting is its own career, add some of your own fashion forecasting flare. Follow their advice, but bring in items that you think fit the season’s trends to add a unique style to your store.
Remember to keep planning throughout the entire season in order to adjust for change and have more accurate records to help when planning for the next season. Seasonal planning does not end when the season begins because there is always a new one right around the corner, so start analyzing trends and planning for the next as soon as you can.