Do You Really Need a Merchandise Manager
4. Communicate the mailing plans of each catalog. For example, if you have mailings with higher percentages of rental names, merchants may select different items based on what works better for first-time buyers or for those on lists being tested.
5. Before each catalog is created, work with the buyers to determine how much space will be allocated to each product category or sub-category. As last year’s efforts are analyzed, it’ll become clear where changes are needed to maximize overall catalog performance. Your merchandise manager then can help facilitate this planning process as someone who is perhaps less vested in the outcome of the amount of space occupied by a specific product category. After all, buyers don’t usually want to give up space for their categories.
6. Review price points to discern if a shift is needed in your overall price-point distribution or the average price offered within certain product categories. Likewise, your merchandise manager may need to give some overall direction regarding the amount of copy block space devoted to certain price points or the target margin percentage for a price point range.
7. In addition to allocating the space by category, continually review the catalog’s overall page count. If pages must be added or cut, it’ll then take the appropriate planning to determine what to do with the new space or where to cut the existing space. The decision to add or cut pages should be a joint one between merchants and marketing personnel.
It takes planning and analysis to determine the appropriate count. Generally, if 70 percent or more of your pages meets your profit threshold, it’s time to add pages. Then you need to build a pro-forma P&L for the additional pages, with the appropriate costs noted to ensure the lift needed to pay for the extra pages. In general, you’ll see half of the increase come back to you in revenue (e.g., a 10- percent space increase will yield a 5-percent sales increase).