Q: We see traffic beginning to pick up and we have a good amount of uncommitted open-to-buy (OTB). What are your thoughts?
Steve Pruitt: At Blacks, we are hearing similar reports on both traffic and actual business. Merchants tell us that there are goods to buy now, but the selections are starting to break down.
If you have current OTB and you see the register ringing you should commit a good amount of your OTB now for the balance of spring/summer. If nothing else, reach out to your vendors to discuss availability.
We expect the same circumstances for fall ‘21. As I work with clients for the new season I am seeing too much OTB set aside, so there will be shortages. Gage your performance closely and keep in close contact with your vendors. I am comfortable with an 80 percent commitment of OTB at this time.
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