2016 Top Merchandise Planning Priorities

Boston Retail PartnersMerchandise planning in today’s economic climate has become more challenging. Consumers increasingly demand a real-time, seamless shopping experience, requiring inventory to be planned and managed effectively across multiple channels. Given the elevated expectations of today’s consumer, many retailers are finding that their current planning applications are ineffective and unable to support financial goals and revenue growth.

While most retailers have at least some planning systems in place, the rapid changes in the industry – as e-commerce and mobile commerce have become mainstream and today’s consumer expects the ability to shop anywhere at any time – have eclipsed the abilities of these legacy tools.

There are likely many industry planning systems that were developed and installed in the late 1990s as the Y2K issue forced numerous retailers to update their technology base. Fast-forward twenty years and many retailers are still utilizing those same systems with the same configurations.

Last year BRP conducted their annual Merchandise Planning Survey and they asked retailers to state their top planning priorities for the coming year. This special report covers the top ten merchandise planning priorities for 2016 based on this recent survey of retail executives. This list can serve as a benchmark comparison to your current capabilities and a checklist of additional competencies needed to improve your planning effectiveness.

The result of this comparison can form the basis for conversations between planning and IT organizations to discuss what functionality should be on your technology roadmap as you continue to move towards omni-channel retail.

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