Many brands and retailers are adding fuel to the fire that is decimating much of the industry. Suffice it to say many business leaders are literally in a state of panic. Mall traffic is down double-digits, comp-store sales are weak, promotions are rampant, coupons are common, and fashion has no clear directional trend. The forest is on fire.
Oxygen fuels fire. Blow some air on a good hot fire and see what happens. Fires love oxygen and they need fuel like dead trees, grass, and brush to grow. To control a forest fire you clear surrounding areas of fuel, dowse the fire with water, keep it under control, and wait for rain.
INVENTORY IS OXYGEN. As much as you need oxygen to breath, you need inventory to generate sales. But like oxygen ignites flames that destroy a landscape, so does inventory to ignite markdowns, obliterate margins, and devastate a brand.
When the forest is on fire, you have to contain the burn by managing fuel and oxygen.
Do more with a less inventory and your forest will thrive. Drive your planning teams to constrict the flow of oxygen and charge your buying teams to identify only the best sources of fuel.
Photo: National Geographic