Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Review, Leverage and Schedule

Preparing to meet with the appropriate vendor reps for the new golf season whether that is winter in Florida or spring in the Northeast involves more than booking appointments, it should include a review of this season’s successes and failures as well as the appropriate buy plan homework. The “Merchandise Buy Plan Guide” explains the methodology of determining proper inventory levels and turns. Last November’s entry “Buy to a Strategy” discussed the need to plan promotions and buy for them in an effort to reduce markdowns and inspire sales. This entry attempts to evolve those concepts by suggesting a review and understanding of any shortcomings in this season’s plan and most importantly leveraging any successes, buying to and announcing early the leveraged schedule of promotions and events.

Our hypothetical shop is in the northeast and planned the following promotions and events this past spring-summer season.

January – All merchandise that was not to be carried forward was put on sale at 40% off.
February – Indoor chipping and putting clinics were introduced.
                    Wedges, putters and shoes were offered at a discount.
March – Choice of a free cap with the purchase of any one of the new knits coming in for the season.
                 Caps were purchased off shore to limit the loss of margin.
April – Lady’s luncheon and trunk show. Demo Day and a Gentlemen’s Night following Men’s Opening Day competition.
             Vendor participation of full product availability with Lija and Addidas apparel and shoes for the                              ladies event; a Taylor Made Demo Day, Fairway and Greene, Martin Dingman and Payne-Mason cigars   for the Gentleman’s Night.
May – Member/member and member/guest tournaments.
            Gift certificates as favors with Titleist and Footjoy setting up a consignment shop.
June – Choice of a free pair of shorts with purchase of any two shirts.
             Both shorts and shirts were bought specifically for the promo at a discount. The shirt selection also included any aged merchandise
July – Thursday evenings - Couple’s Chip and Putt contests with shop credit prizes and wine and cheese were instituted.

Reviewing the sales history revealed all of this year’s events and promos to be somewhat successful but that the Demo Day and Gentleman’s Night produced a huge day of sales and the cap and short give-away were particularly well received.   Also January’s sale was successful in getting rid of a lot of residual inventory.
Once we are convinced that this is the case and wanting to increase or enhance the frequency and intensity of success this season we will plan the following:
  • Have two Demo Days – one in May and one in June.
  •  Plan a fall version Of Gentleman’s Night with themes and local celebrities at both the spring and fall events.
  • In order to leverage the success of the give-away promos we will repeat the short giveaway in June using a different vendor and fabrication.
  • Move the headwear promo to April and add a lightweight spring jacket give away in March with any purchase of $150.
  • In order to eliminate the math in the January clearance sale we will go to ‘buy one get one’ on all marked down merchandise
While discussing these past events and future strategies at a golf staff meeting at season’s end the first assistant suggested that the events and promotions as well as the fact that Donovan McNabb has agreed to appear at the fall Gentlemen’s Night be posted in January’s newsletter so as to create plenty of pre-event interest and give the staff an opportunity to talk up the next six months activities often and well in advance.

The points being made here to review are simple but worth repeating:

1.       Think outside the box when strategizing promotions and events keeping in mind that those facilities that are doing nothing to inspire interest are perceived as doing nothing.
2.       Leverage past successes by increasing either their frequency or value.
3.       Once the schedule is planned announce it in its entirety and plan all buys and turns of product accordingly.

We now have a buy-plan based on space and turn that will make the shop well-merchandised but not over-inventoried. We have a promotional schedule and list of events and have inspired the staff to preview it to the membership. We have done the homework and decided on the vendors that will be our best partners at these events and have provided the best sell-through to date.  We are now prepared to have effective and productive business meetings with vendor reps.