by Steve Pruitt

StevePruitt-FEATURED.jpgQ: I just got back from my buying trip and despite the negativity in the news I am excited to start the spring season. What 3 things do I need to do to guarantee my success this season?

Steve Pruitt: Good question. I’m glad you’re thinking about approaching the season strategically instead of going on autopilot.

Firstly, I think you should concentrate on attracting fashion customers by getting them excited about wearing nice clothing. Too much of the market is focused on the utilitarian aspect of dressing. But, we know that it’s not just about covering your body; it’s about making a statement, expressing yourself, and appreciating the art of dressing. Make your store about the culture of fashion and infect your customers with enthusiasm for buying quality product.

My second tip is one that I’ve said before but is worth repeating – make sure you are not overbought for the season, not even by a penny! This looks like an unpredictable year so I want you to be cautious. I’ve already advised our merchants to cut back their initial buys by 15%-20% compared to last year to leave more money on the table for in-season purchases. You can’t respond to how the market is behaving in season if you are overbought.

Lastly, keep a positive attitude in your store. The stock market has been tumbling, politicians are saying alarming things, and people are understandably nervous about the state of the country. Don’t let this infect your environment. Your store should be an oasis of positivity. Keep the conversations around how exciting the culture of fashion is and concentrate on the little luxuries of life. I’m sure your customers will appreciate it.

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