Q: I just came off a terrible season in terms of sales and margins and now I’m ready to go to market again. Business doesn’t seem to be getting any better so how should I plan sales and buying going into fall?
A: We are going through an unprecedented time so it’s hard to predict what will happen next, but I don’t believe that fall ’09 will be any worse than last year. It won’t be significantly better, either, but we could see single-digit increases over ’08.
Make sure that you are not overbought and maintain large balances of open-to-buy in the 20% to 25% range. This will allow you to respond to in-season demand and will offer you a cushion if sales are as weak as they are now.
Date answered: 01/05/2009
Question raised by: Nervous in 09