To meet customer expectations, retailers need to plan assortments that are wide enough and deep enough. To achieve this goal, retailers should rely on assortment planning software that can not only control how much inventory buyers can purchase, but also ensure that everyone within the organization is working from one master plan that meets the company’s financial targets.
Prior to the 2008-2010 recession, buyers typically had full control over the assortment planning process due to the fact that consumer spending was strong and excess inventory and large margin-impacting markdowns were not a significant concern. However, in today’s “new normal” economy, retailers cannot afford to let buyers purchase independently without considering the impact to the bottom line. Therefore, the assortment planning and financial planning processes need to be tightly integrated with no one losing sight of the financial plan as they work to satisfy today’s unpredictable and demanding consumers.