MARK MY WORDS

Over the years, Bill Pearson has written for many trade publications. The following are excerpted from those articles:

Profit

“A retailer’s ability to effectively manage their inventory is the difference between success and disappointment.”

“It is very possible to do less business and make more money.”

“The difference in a retailer’s overall financial performance lies not with expenses but with inventory management. Compared to the inventory, expense management is easy.”

“Retail is detail.”

“One of the hardest lessons for all retailers is that it’s OK to sell out; OK to miss an occasional sale; OK to not reorder; and OK to not satisfy every customer who walks through the door.”

“Retailers blame what they can’t control.”

“For a store doing $750,000 a year and paying $5,000 a month in rent, over-buying by 10% has the same negative effect on profit as a 60% rent increase.”

Buying

“The vast majority of retailers have too much stock, but too few choices.”

“Early deliveries sell.”

“Over-buy only where you have the best chance to increase sales. Over-buy only where your store is strongest. Over-buy only if you can afford it.”

“Don’t tell me what’s best, show me what’s new.”

“The best computer technology can’t tell you anything about the goods you didn’t buy or the sales you didn’t make.”

“What’s in is really in and what’s not is really hard to sell.”

“How do you know when sales are down because of the merchandise? Simple, always assume it’s because of the merchandise.”

“It’s far better to begin the season early than to try and end it late.”

Markdowns

“Fashion retailers have gotten good at clearing out last season’s over-bought inventory. Unfortunately for some, it’s what they do best.”

“Nobody ever sells it all.”

“Recognizing and taking early markdowns flushes these goods from inventory, improves turnover, and increases open-to-buy.”

“Fashion independents need to begin and end their clearance periods in a month or less.”

“Customers don’t need independents for low prices; aside from the fact that it’s unprofitable, it’s not the role we’re expected to play.”

“Unlike big stores, most independents lose money in any month dominated by markdowns.”

Turnover

“Inventory that sits unsold for more than a few weeks carries the very real risk of turning off regular customers.”

“Spreading out start-ship dates  will dramatically improve turnover.”

“It takes courage to increase turnover, courage to buy less and to take markdowns sooner.”

“Only with leaner, more precise inventory is there any hope of increasing turnover.”

“Faster turnover is not always desirable. There comes a point when limited choices prevent greater sales. Not surprisingly, this is an infrequent problem.”

“Slow turnover can be tolerated if it doesn’t get worse or doesn’t increase markdowns.”

“Both customers and salespeople require the stimulation of fresh new merchandise.”