2 min read

Five strategies for retail planning success: part one

Vivek Soneja

Vivek Soneja is Anaplan’s Global Head of Supply Chain Solutions. He has 20+ years of professional experience in consulting, product development, and leadership roles in supply chain management, analytics, and enterprise solution architecture at TCS, Capgemini, and Accenture. He has also played interim operational supply chain and technology leadership roles at various enterprises.

If the retail industry changes as much in the next 20 years as it has in the last 20 years, what will it look like? The word “unrecognizable” comes to mind. If waves of change roll in at their current pace, we’ll have a whole new world of retail. So how should retailers adapt their planning today to form the future, rather than react to change as it comes?

We’ve identified five key aspects to retail planning that can help you stay ahead of the curve. We’ve collected them in a new white paper, “Five strategies for retail planning success,” and in this first blog of a two-part series, I’ll highlight two of the key aspects to successful retail planning.

In today’s fast-changing, omni-channel retail world, the ability to stay flexible and responsive in inventory management helps you stay a step ahead of your competitors and even consumer demands. These first two strategies focus on developing this approach.

Balance store inventory: Keep it light and fast-moving.

As a retailer, you tiptoe along a fine line regarding inventory: Keep stock levels higher, and you run the risk of taking a hit on heavy discounts late in the season. Opt for a lean stock strategy, and you risk understock and disappointed customers who are looking for that one popular item. While some stores have benefited from a lean inventory strategy, the tension between these two extremes is palpable, especially when a company doubles as retailer and supplier. Burberry works to maintain equilibrium between their own retail stores and the department stores where their products are sold—and often discounted.

Balance merchandising volatility: Adjust to the influence of external factors.

As if you don’t have enough to keep you up at night, external factors like weather come into play since they affect consumer purchasing patterns, habits, and trends. For example, what if the long winter that was foretold turns out to be warmer than expected? Consumers then may not buy all the cold-weather gear you lined the shelves with, and you’ll be left overstocked. In response, some retailers diversify into categories that are less affected by outside events. JCPenney is one example: The retailer is experimenting with appliance sales again—after 33 years of focusing on apparel.

Check back soon for a look into three more strategies for retail planning success—or learn about all five strategies and what they mean to you by downloading our white paper today.

Five Strategies for Retail Planning Success

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