Behind the scenes – the inventory planning process
I wanted to share a little bit of ‘behind the scenes’ from our store.
If you’re visiting us in store over the next few weeks you may see samples of products for Fall 2019. Each of the different clothing brands we carry, such as Craghoppers, David Cline, Sherpa Adventure Gear, Royal Robbins, ExOfficio, and KÜHL, plan their seasonal offerings over a year out. While there are ‘core’ items for each brand, brands create seasonal items that will mix and match with their main product lines.
In mid 2018, these companies developed their seasonal designs and sourced materials for their Fall 2019 line. They then developed samples to send to their representatives, who go on the road to show these products to stores like ours. In December and January, my brother Jeff and I will be viewing these samples and trying to choose what seasonal products we think you will like for Fall. We then develop our merchandise plan and submit our orders by mid January, for July to December of this year.
While we use historical data, and try to analyze trends, it still comes down to considering what products we think will match well with what our clients have told us in store, and worse case scenario, Jeff and I play rock-paper-scissors.