Is it a mistake to offer holiday-driven discounts?

by Steve Pruitt

AsktheExpertsQ: I sell both menswear and women’s wear and I’m planning a Mother’s Day promotion, with discounts on some women’s accessories. What is your advice on holiday-driven promotions? Is it a mistake to offer discounts? If so, what should I do instead?

A: It’s okay to promote around holidays, since that’s the world we live in. But I have a couple of questions for you:

1.Do you have an annualized margin plan?
2. Do you use a markdown plan that is tied to the margin plan?

Markdowns are your friends, but like in all friendships, neither party is allowed to be abusive.

Your IMU (Initial Mark Up), margin goal and markdown plans are all interrelated.
A balanced relationship should allow you to promote and hit your margin plans.