5 Inventory Management Musts for Apparel Retailers
The apparel industry is very competitive is built around trends. What’s popular this year may not be popular next year. On top of that, the trends are seasonal. So apparel retailers have to be able to respond to the market quickly, adapt and change, and pivot when necessary.
The following five inventory management procedures are a must for every apparel retailer. Here’s how to manage them more effectively.
- Trend identification – If you’re going to be able to sell the right product to the right customer, you’ve got to be able to spot the trends before they happen. You must keep an eye on the fashion industry and know what’s coming. What are designers making right now? What are customers buying? Where do these two meet? If you can’t identify the trends, you won’t be able to stock the right merchandise at the right time.
- Planning and buying – Planning your retail budget and product cycles is very important. You have to operate within your budget, but you must also meet the demands of your customers. That requires some careful calculations. After you decide which products to buy and how much of each product to buy, you need to contact the vendors and place the orders. A centralized system that helps you do that more efficiently will benefit your apparel retail store for a long time.
- Product tracking – Product tracking begins at the time of ordering. As soon as you create a purchase order for bulk merchandise, you need to know where that product is. And you need to be able to follow it all the way to your warehouse. Then you need to be track it from the warehouse to your stores and into the customer’s hands.
- Product allocation – The make the most of your sales opportunities, it’s important to allocate the right amount of each product to each store location. Apparel that sells well in one location may not sell at all in another. Understanding the buying habits of customers at each store is very important.
- Automatic replenishment – Replenishing supply is very important in any retail environment. Do you do that at the store level or across the chain in one centralized location? Either way, you’ve got to be able to identify the right time to replenish your supply of each product you carry and re-order at the right time. You need an inventory management system that is so robust that you can customize your replenishment cycle to meet your demands.
Does your apparel store have a handle on these five inventory management tasks? If not, check out ChainDrive today.