You need to do some concentrated market research, but your current staff is swamped with other work. Do you: A) wait for your marketing staff’s workload to get lighter? B) decide that the research was not all that crucial in the first place? C) hire an outside expert to conduct the all-important study? “There’s a general tendency in the catalog industry to use in-house staff only and to avoid hiring outside expertise,” says George Ittner, president of Executive Greetings catalog, a former industry consultant and long-time catalog veteran. “But I think you can gain immense benefits from hiring that expertise. Catalogers shouldn’t
GJM Associates Inc.
Effectively planning your merchandise buys will have a dramatic impact on your customer service levels, fill rates and inventory management. Although there are many approaches to planning buys, I’ll offer an overview of the one I’ve used most successfully in my many years in the catalog industry. The process isn’t difficult, but it should be done with some consistency as you build your history from one timeline to the next. Although we frequently talk about the catalog industry being “item-driven,” to plan effectively, step back and look at your business from a broader categorical point of view. Start by defining the
Even the best merchants sometimes over-buy or miscalculate sales projections. And sometimes your returns ratio creeps a bit higher than normal. What’s a cataloger to do? Dump the stuff. Surplus goods have no value to your catalog until they’re converted into cash and those funds are reinvested. In addition, the overstocked items are taking up precious real estate in your warehouse, and you must pay to insure and maintain them. Finally, surplus assets depreciate in value more quickly than other assets as they become obsolete. Following are some ways to discard inventory and clear your shelves for tomorrow’s new goods. Discount to Move 1.