Is the Economy Finally Heating up Again?

by Steve Pruitt

AsktheExpertsQ: The latest GDP growth numbers make me think that the economy is finally heating up again. Does this mean I should ratchet up my spring 2014 plans, or am I getting too hopeful?

A: Yes, sales have increased, particularly for better-priced specialty stores. At Blacks, the trends are telling us that this growth cycle should continue for at least the first six months of 2014, and perhaps further. Read your trends closely and adjust your sales plans appropriately.

Also, keep in mind that an increasing sales trend is a great opportunity to increase both your planned and actual turn rates. Too often during growth cycles, merchants let their inventory purchases get ahead of the trend and windup leaving margin dollars on the table.