Inventory Management

How to Increase Profit When the Supply Chain is Unpredictable
September 22, 2020 at 2:38 pm

Long before algorithms, machine learning (ML), artificial intelligence (AI), and even computers, retailers have depended upon demand planning principles to stay in business. Demand planning is the foundation for resetting retail. Fortunately, retailers can now use demand planning powered by AI and ML. It can help retail chains maximize profit even in times of external…

Amid COVID-19, is it Finally Time for Off-Price to Prioritize E-Commerce?
September 14, 2020 at 11:27 am

It’s a question worth discussing as the unprecedented pandemic continues to strain the retail industry. Take, for example, TJX, the parent company of T.J. Maxx, Marshalls, and HomeGoods, which reported first quarter net losses exceeding $887 million after closing all of its stores and distribution centers over a two-month span in compliance with statewide lockdowns.…

Brands Experiencing Bullwhip Effect Look to Purchase Panels
September 9, 2020 at 1:02 pm

At the onset of COVID-19, out-of-stocks plagued retailers. Their immense impact was amplified by the "Bullwhip Effect" to create tsunami-like waves in demand from retailers to brands and on to their suppliers. The vicious cycle of hoarding and resulting out-of-stocks fueling further hoarding forced brands to look beyond point-of-sale (POS) data as their ultimate demand…

3 Strategies for Reducing Excess Seasonal Inventory
September 2, 2020 at 3:20 pm

As the calendar turns toward September, shorts, shirts and swimsuits must make way for sweaters and slacks in retail stockrooms. But with consumers everywhere staying home, some retailers’ inventories may be bursting at the seams with backlogged products. Whether they’ve slowed their buying to keep balance sheets in check or are simply reaching the end…

5 Strategic Imperatives for Retail’s New Normal
August 18, 2020 at 4:27 pm

As stores reopen and people return to work around the globe, it's evident that the retail landscape will be different, perhaps permanently. COVID-19 has changed consumer behavior in stores, and CPG companies and retailers need to create new strategies to maximize potential and respond to the evolving needs of their customers. Brands and retailers must…

Sourcing and Inventory Management in the Post-COVID-19 Environment
August 5, 2020 at 10:35 am

The retail landscape of America is undergoing an undeniable transformation. COVID-19 has catapulted e-commerce center stage, with online marketplaces taking over for brick-and-mortar stores amid safety fears and lockdown restrictions. This has proven just how crucial it is to cultivate a robust digital presence, particularly as retailers are facing economic devastation, with 2.1 million job…

Changing the Narrative: Setting the Stage for Retail Recovery, Part 2
July 30, 2020 at 4:06 pm

In part one of this article, I examined the challenges that the retail sector has faced since the beginning of the pandemic, and its inability to rely on traditional historic consumer data when it comes to meeting consumer needs. Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning, however, could be the key to providing retailers with the…

3 Tips for Order Management in an Evolving Retail Landscape
June 25, 2020 at 7:27 pm

As states around the U.S. cautiously begin to reopen, the reawakening of the brick-and-mortar retail industry will be a phased approach. But even when all restrictions are lifted, consumers may not be ready to dive right back into their old shopping habits. At-home delivery and curbside pickup will likely remain popular among customers who feel…

COVID-19 Drives 3 Key Omnichannel Capabilities
June 16, 2020 at 2:32 pm

The COVID-19 crisis is proving to be a catalyst for change across all dimensions of retail. Some of this transformation was already underway for some specialty brands. They were on a path to building a more direct-to-consumer (D-to-C) business. However, what the pandemic ultimately underscores for them and others is that retail can’t go back…

Managing Supply Chains in a Pandemic
June 15, 2020 at 7:42 pm

U.S. retailers have faced numerous challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic: shelter-in-place orders that closed all but essential retail, outbreaks of COVID-19 among employees for those remaining open and, naturally, supply chain shortages as vendors were hit by the same issues. For consumers this has meant some empty shelves — generally on sought-after items such as…